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Lions delivering PPE to 150 places in four Connecticut counties

The Lions Clubs International district that covers New London, Windham, Middlesex and Tolland counties has received a $10,000 grant from Lions Club International Foundation to purchase personal protective equipment such as disinfectant, face shields, masks, gloves and gowns.

Mary Krogh, treasurer for Lions District 23-C, said the supplies are being delivered to about 150 locations. In southeastern Connecticut, that includes the New London Homeless Hospitality Center, nursing homes, police departments, ambulance services, and fire departments, such as the Quaker Hill, Laurel Hill, Poquonnock Bridge, Mystic and Old Mystic fire companies.

The grant was approved April 13 and the Lions are delivering equipment, Krogh said. The district has spent more than half than money but not all yet, since "the needs change daily."

Krogh said on Friday the district had purchased 160 disinfectants, 4,000 gloves, 1,300 masks, 300 shoe covers and 300 face shields.

She said that while the grant was going through, Lions were already working on finding supplies. Krogh reached out to different hospitals and nursing homes to ask about their needs, and she was able to acquire hard-to-find items, like disinfectant, through networking.

Through one contact, she heard the West Haven-based insulation manufacturer Thermaxx Jackets that had put aside its own business to make gowns, so she called its president, Brian Bannon. He said he'd purchased the material and made 5,000 gowns but didn't have enough sewers, and due to social distancing he couldn't get more in.

So, Lions District 23-C Governor Diana Grise put out a call to Lions in their district, and recruited 30 Lions to sew gowns, Krogh said. She said last week the Lions had sewed about 400 of the 500 gowns Bannon delivered last Monday.

"She really thinks outside the box and she always partners and everyone benefits," Grise, a Windham resident and member of the Montville Lions Club, said of Krogh.

As of April 30, Lions Club International Foundation had given out 166 grants totaling $3,208,633, Grise said. This just includes grants for COVID-19 frontline relief, but the foundation also distributes other types of grants.



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