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A large donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) from an anonymous donor is going to help keep students, faculty and staff across the University of Hawaiʻi System safer. More than 5,000 face shields and almost 1,400 containers of hand sanitizer were donated to UH in late April.

People with P P E donation

The generous donation, valued at about $200,000, was designated for various programs and campuses, including Kapiʻolani Community College and UH Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Lyon Arboretum and Athletics Department, which said it would benefit athletic trainers and student athletes.

A large portion of the donation, more than 1,000 face shields and about 4,600 containers of hand sanitizer, went to Kapiʻolani CC and was warmly welcomed by students and faculty in the emergency medical services, nursing and health sciences programs.

“It’s definitely something that we need. We use this stuff on the daily,” said Nicholas Tang, a student in the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) program.

“This donation is pretty important because the [EMT] program was one of the only programs that had face-to-face learning at Kapiʻolani Community College and we definitely used a lot of PPE during that time,” said Brett Tanchico, another EMT student.

People with donated P P E

Kapiʻolani CC’s share of the donation was boxed up and transported in more than 10 pallets. Students and staff used forklifts, and manpower to distribute the PPE across the campus.

“We are so grateful for the donation of hand sanitizer and face shields to help keep our students, faculty and staff safe. While the vaccine efforts are well underway, the need to use PPE and other safeguards for those on campus in the coming months will remain,” said Lisa Radak, dean of health sciences at Kapiʻolani CC. “This generous donation coupled with vaccinations will support campus operations and student learning activities without compromising the health of our ʻohana at Kapiʻolani Community College.”

Tanchico added, “I think it’s really great. I think it’s like one huge stride forward in getting everything back to normal.”

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