Take 5 to Give $5: Huntsville foundation supplies frontline workers with protective equipment
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The Huntsville Hospital Foundation is ensuring that caregivers are protected while working around those exposed to coronavirus. They are just one of dozens of non-profits in North Alabama receiving funding from the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville to help with these expenses.

After being a nurse at Huntsville hospital for 32 years, Joyce Thomas realizes that working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic are now just a part of her new normal.

"You just get into that cycle and in that work load that this is a job that has to be done, and this is what we have to do," said Joyce Thomas.

Each day, she's at different locations testing those who think they might have been exposed to coronavirus, but as an emergency preparedness manager, she's been training for this moment.

"We had just had a highly infectious disease exercise just prior to (the) breakout last summer, so we practiced our negative pressure equipment room in the E.D. and the workflow and transition of an EMS patient into the highly infectious disease unit," Thomas said.

The Huntsville Hospital Foundation realized frontline workers needed additional personal protective equipment while working during the pandemic. They applied for the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville’s emergency relief fund to help pay for the equipment.

"That's a comforting feeling is to know that you have the adequate equipment to do your job, so you don't have to worry about that, because you can just do your job," Thomas said.

Huntsville Hospital Foundation President Sarah Savage-Jones said the grant will also help pay for fever and flu clinics in different communities so people can get tested. Plus, they're supporting quarantined employees.

"If someone is exposed to COVID-19 on the job, and they have to be quarantined, then we will help to make sure they are provided for financially," said Savage-Jones.

This is a job Thomas still loves and despite the stressful moments, she remembers one thing.

"This is a difficult time for everybody, and you feel like, I did my part. I was able to put in that little piece that keeps the wheel turning and we care for the patients," Thomas said.

WAAY is partnering with Toyota and the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber to support Take 5 to Give $5 for the Community Foundation of Greater Huntsville.

Take 5 to Give $5 is a giving campaign to help support non-profits in the greater Huntsville area who are serving on the frontline of the coronavirus response. The initiative is part of #GivingTuesdayNow — a global day of giving on May 5, 2020.

To donate, go to communityfoundationhsv.org or for text to give, text "GiveHSV" to 44-321.

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