Those boxes contained gowns and masks for medical workers, and they came from an unexpected source: Grace Farms.
Grace Farms is a community center in New Canaan that takes on national and international issues. Rod Khattabi is the Chief Accountability Officer and a former Department of Homeland Security agent with contacts all over the world.
“So we raised around $4 million, so we spent it all on buying PPEs out of China and bringing the stuff here,” Khattabi explained before helping unload the truck. “Then basically giving it to the health care workers, hospitals, nursing homes.”
The Waterbury Hospital delivery contained around 30,000 pieces of protective gear. Khattabi is using Grace Farms’ supply to fill in the gaps in the system.
“So our job now is not to supply everybody, but be strategic. To fill the void,” Khattabi said. “Where is the need? And we found that Waterbury Hospital and St. Mary’s hospital have a great need of PPEs.”
The need is very real and hospital executives are always very grateful for the donations.
“We go out of our way each day to source for PPE,” said Waterbury Hospital President & CEO Lester Schindel.“ So when we get donations from Grace Farms and others, we’re getting them daily, it is just incredible. We couldn’t do this without our community support.”
Schindel said he has a lot to be grateful for these days as so many businesses and agencies from around the city, and around the region, have been donating what they can to help those on the front lines of the fight against this virus.