Long Beach residents Rachel Engel and Colette Morales witnessed firsthand the toll the Covid-19 pandemic was taking on their friend, who was working 10 to 15 hour shifts at the radiology department at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside.
They wanted to help and show support, so they put a few items together and sent the over.
“She had pressure sores from wearing the mask on her face,” Engel said of her first-responder friend. “Initially we sent over a couple of facial masks, creams and things to soothe her face to let her know we were thinking about her. We also sent her a gift card to Brixx & Barley,” a Long Beach restaurant parlor.
Engel said that her friend’s thankful and emotional reaction sparked an urge to help more people during the pandemic. So the pair decided to launch the Facebook page, “Beauty, PPE, and Essential Care for the ones that are there.”
They have collected more than $15,000 in donations and have over 1,300 members. Not only do people donate money, but they also donate facemasks, gift cards and care products, among much other stuff.
Engel said she reached out about 500 to 600 companies and many of them have donated to the cause.
“It’s expanded all over Long Island, all over Manhattan and now people in Texas are contacting us and asking us for some things,” Engel said. “It was sort of like, in an unfortunate time, a happy accident that we’ve been able to support these people that weren’t able to get the PPE they needed.”
The pair have put together a couple of thousands of care packages to send across the island. With a network of volunteers, they have already donated items to Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, Northwell Health in Manhasset, NYU Winthrop Hospital and many more.
They are asking for any type of donations, including beauty products such as lotions, lip gloss, skin masks, serums, aloe, dry shampoo and hair products. Snacks and other food items are also accepted. Donations can be sent to Rachel’s Venmo at Rachel-engel or visit the “Beauty, PPE, and Essential Care for the ones that are there Facebook page.
“We are happy to give everyone a platform to help those that are helping us,” Morales said.” “ Each and every person on the front lines is valued and important. We are all in this together and will continue to do everything we can to show our appreciation.”