Volunteers hand out 20,000 COVID care kits across Henrico

Volunteers hand out 20,000 COVID care kits across Henrico

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Some Henrico residents may have arrived home to a surprise on their doorstep Thursday and Friday!

Dozens of volunteers were busy the last two days dropping off 20,000 COVID care kits to citizens across the County.

On Friday, roughly 50 volunteers gathered for the collaborative effort hosted by Henrico County with help from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Governor’s Office.

“We’ve acquired 20,000 face coverings, 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and put them into what we call our Henrico County care kits with the multi-language information,” said Monica Smith-Callahan, Deputy County Manager for Community Affairs in Henrico.

Last week hundreds of volunteers helped pack these kits before pounding the pavement this week.

“It’s just been tremendous, the outpour of willingness of our volunteers, young and old, to want to come out and give a few hours,” Callahan said.

Henrico volunteers just assembled thousands of COVID care kits. The kits include reusable face coverings, hand sanitizer...

Posted by Henrico County Government on Thursday, August 20, 2020

“I went to Virginia Tech, the motto is Ut Prosim - That I May Serve, so I’ve always lived by that,” said volunteer Ethan Haley.

For Haley, things have been a bit difficult for him over the last few months during the COVID pandemic.

“I personally got affected by unemployment,” he said. “I’m a business owner back in Martinsville, Virginia; I own an arcade. So, it’s nice to help out people who are in a bind in terms of money. Maybe they can’t afford PPE.”

This effort is part of the Health Equity Pilot Program organized by the Governor’s Office.

“The program works to identify communities most in need and at risk of contracting COVID-19,” a press release said.

Henrico County was one of 50 local governments in the state selected to take part in this initiative.

“There isn’t a greater responsibility for a local government than the health and safety of its residents, and Henrico is grateful for these additional resources in the fight against COVID-19,” Callahan said.

“We’re prioritizing communities that have traditionally been under-served, and historically under-resourced, and we’re getting through this together,” said Dr. Janice Underwood, Chief Diversity Officer with the Governor’s Office.

More than 540,000 cloth face coverings and 460,000 bottles of hand sanitizer have been distributed statewide through the Health Equity Pilot Program, officials said.

“I’m really proud of that doing a lot of work with people with disabilities, the deaf and hard of hearing as well as racial minorities,” said volunteer Devynn Whitesell.

“I think it’s necessary for people to have these resources,” added volunteer Brianna Gonyo. “Especially since these communities are being targeted for the demographics and stuff.”

Henrico previously delivered face coverings and health information to approximately 25,000 homes in previous distribution events held in May.

“Everyone has taken time out of their day to volunteer and pour back into others,” Underwood said. “We know that’s how we’re going to get through this.”

For more information on future distribution events, contact Henrico County.

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