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Recent mask distribution was a project months in the making

This article was written by Bogalusa City Council member Gloria Kates.

On April 25, I’d made known distribution of face masks and how we needed more throughout the city of Bogalusa. “More face masks, more disinfectant, and more sanitizer are needed not only throughout our districts, but city, state, and nation. I continue to seek resources to assist in order to combat this pandemic epidemic.”

Timeline:

  • April 25 to April 30 — Made contact with numerous organizations in order to obtain a resource for face masks, sanitizer, and disinfectant for Bogalusa Churches. This included of a BET project with New Orleans United Way shared by Mr L Brown, (a local electrician).
  • April 30 — attempted to correspond with numerous United Way officers to request review BET press release pertaining to BET COVID-19 donation/partnership with United Way. Indicating it was understood BET raised funds for the United Way. Also, wanting to know more information on receiving grants or supplies from the United Way and/or BET, in prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many contacts were no longer with the organization.
  • May 1 — UPS Resource Development Associate , Brown-Sampayo of United Way, Southeast made contact to relay not having the all details of the BET fundraiser, but referred me to two Senior Directors of Resource Development.

UPS Senior Director Reed, Resource Development, made contact to relay that regarding the BET fundraiser, BET had clear guidelines and had to vet the partners that were already predetermined prior to the event — based on certain criteria that they provided. And unfortunately, there were no new partners being accepted for those funds. However, she would pass along this need in hopes that we can identify the need.

I also inquired from UPS as a follow-up to the email request to share how many of these supplies and to whom they would go?

  • May 6 — Was informed via UPS Senior Director Reed, Resource Development, that a donor was found, United Parcel Service.
  • May 7 — I requested a church list from the Bogalusa Daily News.
  • May 8 — Again, I expressed acknowledgement and was elated that United Way had found a donor that confirmed to contribute masks and hand sanitizer to the churches in Bogalusa. And how this distribution may be able to touch families and aid in the spread of what looks to be a long-term pandemic.

I consolidated and updated several lists, in order to determine the total churches in Bogalusa for forwarding to United Way. I also requested if the donor was able to allot 75-100 masks and 75-100 bottles of sanitizers to each church, and how soon we could discuss delivery or/and pick-up.

  • May 13-22, June 6 — I continued to follow up with United Way on delivery of supplies.
  • June 6 — I received a message: “Hi, UPS is confirming with UW what day this week that they can bring the supplies.” I then made inquiry if a representative from UW or UPS would be available, or if it would just be delivery? I also asked if the supplies would be broken down, and mentioned that “Again, We are so grateful…”

Later that day, Reed confirmed she would accompany the UPS driver, and they will need a truck to bring the supplies. She also said she would find out details on how to break them down.

  • June 8 — Thursday, June 11, around noon was the suggested time of arrival, via UW and UPS.
  • June 9-10 — Contact was made with Bogalusa church pastors/representatives. Also on June 9, I contacted Bogalusa Fire Chief Richard Moody to inquire if the fire station could be a possible site to disburse the supplies to churches. In the June 9 edition of The Daily News, the announcement was published that each church would receive 100 masks, 100 hand sanitizers and 100 pairs of gloves, via the partnership of United Way of New Orleans and United Parcel Service. The supplies would be distributed by pastors/leaders or their representatives, at discretion to their members.
  • June 11 — The UPS director reported, “We gave out 8,000 masks, 3,000 pairs of gloves and 2,500 sanitizers.”
  • June 12 — There was also made available 3,000 empty bottles and two 55-gallon drums of sanitizer, as well as 60 boxes of gloves and 132 boxes of masks.

 

The two-day event was a great success. There were more churches given supplies than expected, as well as the BFD, the city offices, and the community. Churches who participated included:

Allen Temple COG, Annunciation Catholic Church , Antioch Church of Christ Holiness USA, Apostolic Faith United Pentecostal Church, Ben’s Ford Baptist Church, Bethlehem Baptist Church , Bible Way, Bogalusa Church of Christ, Brown’s Temple A.O.H. Church Of God, Church of God, Calvary Christian Fellowship, Christ Way Ministries, Church of United Faith, Elizabeth Sullivan Memorial United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, First Church of God in Christ, Fully Committed Ministries, God Seeking through Jesus Christ Ministries, Greater Ebenezer Baptist Church, Harry Chapel United Methodist Chruch, Highland Baptist Church, Jehovah’s Witnesses Hall, Love Outreach Church, Kingdom of God Church, Main Street Baptist Church, Memorial Baptist Church, Metropolitan Baptist Church, Monroe Street Baptist Church, Mount Bethel Baptist Church, Mount Carmel Baptist Church, Mount Moriah Baptist Church,   Mt. Pleasant , Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church, Mount Zion Baptist Church, New Hope Church of Christ Holiness USA, New Life United Pentecostal Church, New Triumph Baptist Church, Pettit Memorial Baptist Church, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Saint John Elizabeth   Church of God in Christ, St. Paul AME Church, Salter Chapel AME Church, Second Baptist Church, St. Matthews Episcopal Church, Superior Avenue Baptist Church, Sweet Beulah Baptist Church, Terrace Missionary Baptist Church, Thirkield United Methodist, Trumpet of Truth, Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church, White Hall Baptist Church, LC-MS Zion Lutheran Church and Winan United Methodist Church.

A special thank you to our volunteers: Mayor Wendy Perrette took time out of her busy schedule to give out supplies on Thursday. Also she recommended that distribution could be made from the steps of city hall, to avoid sun and heat for the volunteers. Also thanks to Chief Moody, Chief Ladner, Chief Moses, Chief Brister, and the men of the Bogalusa Fire Department, Major Charles McDaniel of the Bogalusa Police Department, Mr. Don Hall, Bogalusa Public Works, Mr. Justin Schuver of the Bogalusa Daily News for their list of churches, and the untiring service of volunteers: Ms. Marilyn Lott and Greg, Mrs. Tina Martin, Ms. Regina Powell, Rev. Deshaun Spikes, Ms. Eva Taylor and Ms. Melody Reed and Ms. Janet Jackson.

As part of the Faith Based Committee, this project was made as part of the COVID-19 preventive plan of action for the good of the community. To God be the Glory. Unity and Inclusion for All was the purpose.