Caroline Taylor expected to be enjoying a holiday on April 19, catching the Boston Marathon on what is a state holiday in Massachusetts. But instead of hanging out at Mile 21, the Boston College freshman was holed up in her home in Newark, making the best of her upended academic year, both for herself and others.
Taylor, who graduated from Ursuline Academy last year, is a pre-med major at BC. And when not taking online classes, she has teamed up with a national organization to help out the local medical community during the coronavirus pandemic by soliciting needed supplies.
“The Med Supply Drive is a nationwide effort that’s led by students to collect unused personal protective equipment for emergency rooms, clinics and hospitals. We’ve been reaching out to local businesses of all sorts to see if they have materials that they’d be willing to donate,” she said.
The drive is organized by an organization called GetUsPPE.org, an effort “to build a national, centralized platform to enable communities to get PPE to healthcare providers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the website reads. According to Taylor, most of the volunteers in Delaware are in New Castle County, but they would like to expand south.
After connecting with GetUsPPE.org a few weeks ago, Taylor and other volunteers started contacting local businesses to see if they had any supplies they would consider donating. A local coordinator delivered the first donations — 3,800 gloves and 15 N95 masks — to a walk-in clinic and a Christiana Care collection site. They confer with the national organization to determine where the supplies go.
“We see which site is closest to where the supplies are, and that’s how they choose where they go,” Taylor said. “It’s just picking up, so we’re hoping that more donations will come in.”
Taylor said the medical supply drive will continue as long as there is a need. “That’s the plan. We’re just trying to get supplies where they’re needed.”
This certainly is not how Taylor thought she would be spending the final months of her freshman year at Boston College.
“Definitely not,” she said. “I definitely didn’t expect to do classes from my bedroom. That’s been an adjustment, but I’m making the best of it.”
Service was an important part of her experience at Ursuline, and that has continued at BC, a Jesuit institution.
“At Ursuline I did a ton of community service, and also at BC. This is just one way I can do it back at home even though we’re not allowed to really leave our houses or go out and do anything,” she said.
To donate, go to www.medsupplydrive.org.