HARTFORD, CT -- Today the City of Hartford conducted two significant distributions of PPE. The first distribution today is in partnership with the State of Connecticut and CBIA-CONNSTEP, which will provide more than 3,500 recently donated surgical masks to more than 100 essential businesses in Hartford that registered online. This is part of the State of Connecticut’s recently announced statewide delivery of PPE to essential businesses coordinated by the State Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the Connecticut National Guard. Essential businesses that did not participate in this distribution can register for another potential distribution at CTCovidResponse.org.
The second distribution is a partnership between the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and New Britain medical equipment manufacturer OKAY Industries, Inc., a longtime Connecticut business which is producing 4,000 face shields for more than a dozen regional non-profits. The Connecticut Nonprofit Alliance coordinated the distribution of face shields to regional non-profits.
“Getting PPE to essential workers in Hartford, whether they work for the City, essential businesses, or non-profits, is an important part of our response to coronavirus,” said Mayor Luke Bronin. “We are very grateful to Governor Lamont and the State, CBIA-CONNSTEP, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, OKAY Industries, and all of our other partners who made this large-scale distribution possible today. I also want to recognize our Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management, Chief Freeman, who has been doing everything possible to get our employees and our partners as much PPE as possible, as quickly as possible.”
“This business distribution, coordinated by the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, is a team effort between multiple philanthropic groups, state agencies and our municipalities,” said Commissioner James C. Rovella, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. “We thank Mayor Bronin, Chief Freeman and the City of Hartford for their rapid distribution of these masks to Hartford businesses.”
“CONNSTEP and CBIA are always willing to help out in any way we can,” said Bonnie Del Conte, President & CEO of CONNSTEP, Inc. “We were able to quickly add functionality to our PPE supplier matchmaking site, ctcovidresponse.org, to help match eligible, small businesses' requests with the state's efforts to distribute these donated surgical masks. By all accounts, it's working extremely well, and we're pleased to play a critical role in the process.”
“During this profound public health crisis, the Hartford Foundation has seen the incredible generosity and compassion of our community, who are all doing what they can to support those in need,” said Hartford Foundation President, Jay Williams. “This effort is a wonderful illustration of how philanthropy can partner with businesses and volunteers to support our frontline first responders including our public safety workers, hospital staff and our dedicated nonprofit providers who have struggled to get this type of protective equipment. While it didn’t cost millions of dollars to make this happen, this potentially life-saving equipment is priceless.”
“As a manufacturer of medical components and assemblies, our expertise and capabilities were a logical fit to assist in this challenge,” said Jason Howey, President and CEO of OKAY Industries, Inc. “However, it was through the collaboration with the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and other generous donors to purchase materials, and with the support of Hartford Healthcare and production volunteers, that we are able to do this. I thank all involved for coming together to support our healthcare professionals in this critical time.”
“The silver lining in the cloud of this terrible crisis is the way in which people across Connecticut are pitching in to help protect those who work on the front lines for community nonprofits,” said Gian-Carl Casa, President and CEO of the Connecticut Nonprofit Alliance. “We thank them, on behalf of nonprofit employees who risk their health to help people in need of essential services. Neighbor helping neighbor is what makes a community.”
Non-profits receiving face shields from the partnership between the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and OKAY Industries, Inc include: Options Unlimited, Inc.; Viability; Catholic Charities Archdiocese of Hartford; Chrysalis Center, Inc.; Connecticut Children's Alliance; Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity; InterCommunity Health Care; Oak Hill; Network, Inc.; MARCH, Inc. of Manchester; Journey Found, Inc.; American School for the Deaf; Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective; Key Human Services; and Sunrise Community.
Chief of Staff
Office of Mayor Luke A. Bronin