It was mission accomplished for Tricia Ellingsen Aug. 7.
After contacting the Cloverdale Reporter in an effort to “get the word out” about free PPE, Ellingsen said she was able to donate everything she had available and more.
“I had a overwhelming response for the PPE,” Ellingsen said, after the Reporter’s article was published online.
Ellingsen, the owner of Tricia’s Gems in Cloverdale, had already given away more than 280 shields, but still had 237 to give out last week.
“I’m looking for someone who needs them, someone who’s going to use them,” Ellingsen said at the time.
She donated the first couple hundred to a local charity and just finished giving away the rest Aug. 7.
She gave away shields to many organizations, but two B.C. Housing senior’s residences in Cloverdale were especially grateful.
“As you are aware, they are low income,” Ellingsen said. “Diana Gent asked for 101 for the residents” of two manors.
Ellingsen said when she gave Gent the shields, Gent cried. “I then ran out and gave her 108 bottles of hand sanitizer and told her to come back and I gave her 500 disposable masks and 108 washable masks. She was so sweet, I just had to.”
Gent, a senior at Cloverdale’s Southdale Manor, gave the face shields and other PPE out to all the residents in her building and in Hoffman Manor, next door.
“There was a lot of happy people,” Gent said. “It’s all low income housing and all seniors,” she explained.
“The shields themselves are so darn expensive,” she added. “Everyone was asking me ‘how much?’ But when I said, ‘no charge,’ they were delighted.”
Gent said she and all the other seniors are so grateful to Tricia’s Gems for the donation.
“We’re so appreciative. It was very fulfilling to be able to give them to other seniors for free.”
Ellingsen explained she recently received a shipment of more than 500 sheilds, but the plastic protectors all had a small mark, about a half inch long, near the top of the screen—but not in the line of sight.
Ellingsen called the supplier up and told them she couldn’t sell the mask because of the mark.
“They told me to dispose of them,” said Ellingsen. “So I thought, ‘why can’t I donate them to someone who needs them?’”
As she didn’t want to destroy them, she ran her charitable plan past the company and the company agreed.
Ellingsen has been selling PPE since the beginning of the pandemic, both masks and shields and hand sanitizer.
In total, Ellingsen gave away nearly $4,000 worth of PPE to needy organizations. She said she gave shields to 10 different charitable and low-income groups.
“I was glad I had the opportunity to give away PPE,” she said. “It was a very rewarding experience.”