During the current pandemic, Mary’s Center, like other health clinics, has encountered numerous challenges to obtaining personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect our staff and participants from the spread of the virus in our clinics, including face masks, N95 masks, and face shields. We have been fortunate to receive in-kind donations of PPE from community members, including Elena and Stefan Templeton and their company the Conceptium Group.
With a history of leading service initiatives through Conceptium Group’s affiliate SPEAR, the Templetons acted quickly when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. Aware of the worldwide PPE shortages and inspired by a similar project in South Africa launched by a friend, the Templetons, with help from Conceptium Group employees, started producing face shields for medical providers and first responders in our community, including Mary’s Center.
In April, they donated over 150 re-useable face shields to Mary’s Center. “We decided to prioritize health clinics like Mary’s Center, nursing homes, first responders, and other underfunded organizations that had a great need for PPE,” Elena shared. In addition to the generous donation to Mary’s Center, the Templetons’ teenage son Storm led efforts to donate 2,000 face shields to DC Fire, which uses at least 350 face shields a day.
The donation of face shields from the Conceptium Group was crucial for Mary’s Center. “It has been extremely challenging over the past several months to purchase the PPE we need from our vendors, due to worldwide shortages,” explained Chief Nursing Officer Dara Koppelman. “Without donations of PPE, we simply wouldn’t be able to continue to serve our participants while keeping our staff safe.”
While Elena and Stefan have already made a significant impact with their donations to Mary’s Center and other critical organizations in our community, they are not calling it quits yet. “We are not stopping until the need is met,” said Elena. We’re in this together and we need to resolve this together.”
The Templetons have involved many other community members in their project, including Storm’s classmates at the Landon School, who help assemble the face shields, and manufacturing company, Potomac Photonics, who have generously donated labor to assist with cutting the materials for the face shields. Elena and Stefan also launched their own GoFundMe page to help raise money for supplies.
We are so grateful to Elena, Stefan, and the Conceptium Group for their donation of face shields to Mary’s Center as well as to other healthcare providers and first responders in the community. Check out this video featuring the delivery of face shields to Mary’s Center.