As the COVID-19 pandemic continues across Texas and rest of the country, the Texoma Health Foundation is working to ensure non profits have proper protection.


THF, through its Texoma Giving Partners branch, is currently collecting donations of supplies and personal protective equipment for area non-profits, including those on the front line in the fight against COVID-19.


The drive comes following a survey of 30 area non-profits and their needs during the pandemic. About 70 percent reported an unmet need for masks, hand sanitizer and other protective equipment.


"One of the the things we are a foundation wanted to understand was how they (nonprofits) are doing," THF CEO Michelle Lemming said. "Are they still able to operate, are they having trouble keeping their staff. Overwhelmingly they reporter that they had a need for PPE."


Lemming said the vast majority of the surveyed nonprofits involve some aspect of the healthcare industry ranging from clinics to hospice care. Other cases, like the Grand Central Soup Kitchen, provide other major services and contribute to the health and well being of the community.


Early on during the pandemic, there were widespread shortages of supplies due to a strain on the supply chain and universal high demand. Since then, the chains have mostly corrected themselves, but a need remains.


In some cases, non-profits are able to purchase supplies again, but are limited on how much and how often they can order. In other cases, non-profits are starting to reopen following closure this spring due to the pandemic and are just now stocking up on supplies, Lemming said.


"We are having to prioritize them based on their need but the vast majority of them have a gap in their supplies."


"Just because they are able to get supplies doesn’t mean that they are able to get enough supplies," she said. "Some of them really don’t have a line item for this kind of thing."


Donations can be dropped off at a basket at Reba’s Ranch House, located at 5036 Reba Dr.


Michael Hutchins is the local government reporter for the Herald Democrat. He can be reached at mhutchins@heralddemocrat.com.