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Locally Produced Personal Protective Equipment Benefits Nonprofit Community

By United Way of Berks County

Jul 09, 2020

Brentwood Industries, headquartered in Wyomissing, partnered with United Way to help keep Berks County nonprofit organizations safe throughout the pandemic.

When the COVID crisis hit, Brentwood took on a new challenge and began manufacturing face shields for the first time in their history. When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted permission for the company to supply the personal protection equipment, Brentwood began distributing and donating the items.

Yesterday, Brentwood Industries is donated 2,000 face shields at a distribution event coordinated by United Way and benefiting more than 20 local nonprofits. The event was held at FirstEnergy Stadium. The face shields proved to be an important safety item for hospital staff, essential workers and others — and now adding nonprofit organizations to that list. “It is important to me, and to Brentwood, to play an active role in our community. We’ve had a longstanding relationship with United Way and knew they were the right organization to help us distribute face shields to those needing the items the most,” said Brentwood President, Peter Rye.

“Local nonprofits continue to serve on the frontlines of the crisis as they meet immediate and longerterm needs of our community’s residents in greatest need,” said Tammy White, President of United Way of Berks County. “Everyone’s safety is paramount, and thanks to the generosity of companies like Brentwood, we can share crucial safety supplies with our community partners.”

In addition to the face shields, United Way also shared latex gloves, soap and other sanitizing products with area nonprofits. Additionally, nearly 5,000 cloth masks were distributed, which have been provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“During these challenging and uncertain times, we are grateful for the generous support and kindness shared by Brentwood and other local companies, along with the many individuals who have reached out to United Way wanting to help those in need,” added White.

United Way recently announced more than $1 million dollars was raised thought its Berks COVID-19 Response Fund, with funds directed to nonprofits responding to increased issues around food, housing and basic needs. United Way said 38 grants have been awarded through the Response Fund, totaling nearly $670,000; additional grant applications are under review. A complete list of grant recipients can be viewed at www.uwberks.org.

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