This week, 5,000 garment bags are being distributed to frontline caregivers serving at Ascension Via Christi, providing them with a safe and convenient way to carry their scrubs home to be washed.
The idea came from an Ascension Via Christi nurse, who suggested that having garment bags would keep potentially contaminated scrubs from coming into contact with their cars on the way home or family members upon their arrival. Once home, the scrubs and the bags could be safely washed and used again.
When he heard her idea, David Alexander, Via Christi Foundation president, took it to hospital leadership, who gave him the green light to make it happen.
Alexander contacted Dave Coyle, founder and owner of In the Bag Cleaners, who readily agreed to help. Coyle contacted his bag supplier, negotiated a better price and even paid for a large portion of the bag order himself.
"What impressed me the most was Dave's willingness to help underwrite this initiative at a time when his business, like many others, is experiencing a downturn with so many customers working from home," says David Alexander, Via Christi Foundation president.
As for Coyle, the bags are just one of the ways he and his company are helping out during the COVID-19 crisis. His wife, Aram, is helping lead an effort to clean and package handmade cloth masks being created by local seamstresses for use in the community.
"For me and my personal and work family, we think that hope can bring so much positivity to a dark situation," says Coyle, whose business also offers complementary dry cleaning for people who are unemployed and looking for work. "We are happy to do what we can to put caregivers' minds at ease as they continue to serve our community."
For more information about how you can help, go to viachristi.org/coviddonations or call 316-281-5157.