With the widespread panic that came along with COVID-19, millions of Americans began stockpiling and hoarding cleaning supplies to store in their homes. This massive surge of "panic buying" created immense bottlenecks in supply chains, who were then unable to get single use items out, like individual hand sanitizers, to the public quickly.
Some people decided to take advantage of the pandemic and began selling their hand sanitizer at outrageous markups: there was little supply but a lot of demand. The major issue with this, though, is that people who lived in households were depleting a much needed resource from those living outside. As shops and stores began to close, many who experience homelessness were unable to have consistent access to bathrooms, and therefore did not have the ability to wash their hands. With government mandates, many housing programs abided by the social distancing norms, and had to decrease the number of individuals allowed inside and ultimately limiting the already strained services.
The main item that shelters kept asking for was hand sanitizer. Yet - despite hundred of phones call and countless hours searching the internet for a distributor, there was no hand sanitizers to be found. So, Provide Now came up with the decision to buy in bulk gallons of hand sanitizer and manually fill into 1 and 2-oz or containers with a fine spray mister.
The process was not easy. It was dull, time consuming, mind numbing, and even created hands full of blisters. Yet, the results were rewarding. Thanks to the (literal) helping hands from Scott Berry, Michael Stout, and Shawn Taylor, Provide Now was able to deliver over 1,000 individual hand sanitizers to individuals experiencing homelessness.
With the support of our donors, Provide Now was able to make a difference for 1,000 people during the first wave of COVID-19.