We’re now several weeks into the COVID-19 pandemic. With each day that passes, we learn of many more parts of our community in need of help. This includes the thousands of medical personnel who are working tirelessly to treat patients and save lives, all while facing shortages of critical personal protective equipment.
At Advance, we are doing what we can to help. For example, our supply chain team recently sourced 150,000 N95 respiratory masks from one of our vendors. These N95 masks are expected to arrive soon and be delivered to healthcare workers in emerging hot spots like Chicago and Miami, and to medical personnel in Raleigh, NC where our Advance headquarters is located. In addition, over 40 distribution centers across the U.S. donated N95 respiratory masks and other medical grade masks that were in inventory.
To ensure the health and safety of our Team Members, Advance has sourced non-medical grade masks for Team Member use. The first shipments are arriving in hardest hit areas this week.
One story I found particularly moving comes from our Advance store in Thornton, Colorado. Two members of the local fire department mentioned to Tamra Hulquist, our inventory specialist working in the store that they were short on personal protective equipment and had been checking all around town for available supplies. Realizing the store had a box of medical masks in a first aid kit, Tamra immediately requested and received approval from Marc Bradley, the store general manager, to donate the masks to the fire department.
It’s a wonderful example of how our Team Members can Take Action to help others, and in times like this, every action counts.
The medical grade masks and N95 respiratory masks we are donating are critical supplies needed by healthcare workers and other medical first responders and should not be confused with non-medical grade masks the CDC recommends be worn by everyday Americans on a voluntary basis.
I’m grateful to our entire Advance family for the work everyone is doing to keep the country moving and our people and customers safe. I am especially proud of the ways our teams are stepping up to help others. It’s the right thing to do and yet another example of why Advance is such a special place to work and shop.