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Southern California Gas Company donates masks to hospitals in Kern County

"Imperative in terms of keeping our morale up"
SoCalGas Mask Donation, Bakersfield
Posted at 3:19 PM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 18:31:10-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif (KERO) — Southern California Gas Company donated about 700,000 masks to hospitals in Kern County, all to help them stay safe and help other members of the community who don’t have access to personal protective equipment (PPE).

SoCalGas said they had a surplus of surgical masks when they ordered supplies for their teams and wanted to share the extras to help the ones who keep us healthy and need it most, especially now with the growing surge in cases.

“We recognize we had more than we needed and so we wanted to disperse them to the community and the medical community of course is the one who goes through the most,” said Rob Duchow with SoCalGas.

Locally, the masks went to Adventist Health in Delano, and Mercy Hospital Bakersfield.

Tony Harper with Mercy Hospitals said they received about 350,000 masks which value at over $300,000. But she said that this donation wasn’t just about the financial help, but also to show hospitals that they have a community looking out for them.

“So initially when COVID happened, we were really inundated with support from the community and the tide has kind of changed now that we’re two years into this. But the need for our staff to feel supported by the community continues and so donations like this are just really imperative in terms of keeping our morale up.”

Harper added that the masks also went to outreach centers and can help people who otherwise might not have enough or the right kind of masks.

Tonight at 6 p.m., 23ABC's Mythili Gubbi looks at what local hospitals are facing and why there could be a ray of optimism.