Volunteers grateful to NovaMed, CVSS for masksSunday, August 02, 2020
Several voluntary organisations that work with vulnerable groups and volunteers on the front line in the COVID-19 response were the recipients of protective masks that were donated by NovaMed, a Jamaica-based medical resource supplier, and made available through partnership with the Council of Voluntary Social Services (CVSS).
Among the recipients of the masks were: the Diabetes Association of Jamaica, Jamaica Red Cross, Eve for Life, Mustard Seed Communities, the Jamaica Association of the Deaf (JAD), the Salvation Army of Jamaica, the Combined Disabilities Association, the Young Men's Christian Association, and the Scout Association of Jamaica.
“The association is grateful for the receipt of these masks and they will be included in our packages to our members,” said Gloria Goffe, executive director of the Combined Disabilities Association.
Lurline Less, chairperson of the Diabetes Association of Jamaica said that her organisation was happy for the donation of the masks, which she said was timely, as it will go a long way in protecting its members and patients while doing dialysis and clinical work.
The JAD said the donation will make the organisation better equipped to offer services to the deaf community.
“This major donation will help to address the needs that we now have to ensure that our members of staff feel safe in doing their work and to ensure that we are prepared for the new school year,” said Kimberley Sherlock Marriot-Blake, executive director of the JAD.
Meanwhile, Eve for Life stated that masks will protect members within the organisation who do most of their outreach in communities.
Dr David Walcott, founder and managing partner of NovaMed said the organisation wanted to play a positive role in assisting countries in the Caribbean, such as Jamaica, in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One of the challenges that Jamaica faced during the COVID-19 pandemic is being sufficiently resourced to mitigate risk and reduce contagion, and so what NovaMed wanted to do was to find ways to provide the population with these protective resources that it needed,” he said, by securing a donation of half-million masks to be distributed to the health care workforce and the vulnerable population.
He said in order to reach the vulnerable population it partnered with the CVSS who had direct link to many of the organisations who catered to these vulnerable groups.
Kim Mair, vice-chair of CVSS, said that companies within corporate Jamaica such as NovaMed should be commended for coming forward and donating to the COVID-19 response efforts.
“This has really re-enforced to me that, yes, we are our brothers' keepers, and that we still care and want to make a difference despite what is going on. I want to say thank you to NovaMed and the volunteers who have been making a difference,” she said.
Saffrey Brown, chair of the CVSS, said that the organisation has partnered with the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) to implement the PSOJ COVID-19 Response Fund and that initiative has been going well.
“Our members have stepped forward in raising moneys for the fund. Some of our members have volunteered throughout the three months so far. Our member agencies have also delivered relief packages through the PSOJ COVID-19 Response Fund,” she said, noting that CVSS has been at the fore of the COVID-19 response thanks to the strength of its network.