Generous Covington businesses lend hand

 Hotel Covington’s director of rooms, Justin Ham, right, and engineer Dakota Steward with the hotel’s donations

City solicits supplies to protect First Responders

COVINGTON, Ky. - CoreStrong got it started with gallon jugs of hand sanitizer. Riverside Korean Restaurant donated surgical gloves. Hotel Covington gave gloves, surgical masks, and disinfectant spray. And others have been giving as well.
With supplies of protective gear and cleaning agents dwindling and purchases on back order, the City of Covington’s Economic Development Department sent targeted emails to its business community on Wednesday asking for donations for use by its police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and Public Works.
“Our First Responders provide life-saving services during an emergency response ranging from emergency medical care to keeping your staff and property safe,” the email read. “We are asking - no, pleading - with you, our Covington businesses ...”
Already, donations are trickling in.
“I just feel so helpless right now, and my job all day revolves around helping people,” said Stephanie Tieman, owner of CoreStrong group personal training. “It’s the least I can do, so I jumped at this opportunity.”
Three of the four gallon jugs of hand sanitizer from CoreStrong were quickly given to the Police Department, which filled up smaller bottles “for keeping officers’ hands clean in-between calls,” Chief Rob Nader said. “That’s the main thing we need.”
Public Works got the other jug.
Hotel Covington this morning donated large boxes of surgical gloves and surgical masks and bottles of disinfectant.
“We’re happy to help the City any way we can,” said Justin Ham, the hotel’s director of rooms. “We’re playing our part, just as everybody is trying to do.”
Other businesses that have donated include:
  • Riverside Korean restaurant.
  • Lost Art Press & Crucible Tool LLC.
  • Wurz Financial Services.
  • And a local church (whose name we don’t have yet). 
Riverside Korean Restaurant’s Bruce Kim dropped off 10 boxes of gloves to City Hall.

Other businesses have pledged supplies that the City hasn’t been able to pick up yet.
Fire Chief Mark Pierce said he’s appreciative. All attempts to order large quantities of protective gear and supplies through normal channels have been met for months with the same answer: We’re out, and we don’t know when we can fill your order.
“Anything people donate, we’ll put to good use,” Pierce said. “While we have what we need right this moment and we’re able to protect our people, we’re concerned that supplies might not last as long as the need is going to be there. We know this virus is going to tax the system, we just don’t know when.”
What’s needed
The City’s First Responders (and others who deal with the public) are seeking:
  • Protective masks (including N-95 and surgical masks).
  • Disposable gloves of any type.
  • Hand sanitizer.
  • Disinfecting wipes.
  • Other disinfecting products. 
How to donate
Donations are tax deductible, and The Fund for Covington will provide a receipt for tax purposes.
Anyone wishing to donate or who has questions should email the City’s point of contact, Suzann Gettys, at
Donations must be in unopened original packaging, and pickup or delivery must be coordinated through her. Please do not take supplies directly to the police or fire stations, since we’re trying to limit unnecessary social interaction.
The issue of dwindling supplies has been a frequent topic at the daily senior staff meetings about the pandemic response.
“When we started hearing about the concern, our department volunteered to reach out to Covington businesses,” said Gettys, the City’s business retention and expansion specialist. “Covington businesses are our partners and we all know we're in this together. They're demonstrating that by their generous donations during this crisis. We want to thank them on behalf of our First Responders.”
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