In late February 2024 our Rotary Club was asked by Holloway Aged Care facility in Keilor East if we could assist it by disposing of a huge accumulated quantity of excess, brand new, Covid 19 Personal Protective Equipment, comprising:
  • 104 cartons of Surgical Gown Packs (20 packs per carton)
  • 117 cartons of Cuffed Isolation Gowns (108 cartons of 50 & 9 cartons of 100)
  • 16 cartons of XS D95 Masks (600 masks per carton)
  • 16 cartons of Goggles (200 Goggles per carton)
So, it was 253 cartons (comprising almost 21,180 individual items, with a conservative value exceeding $50,000) – enough to fill a small shipping container, and so much that it had rendered Holloway’s Community Hub unavailable for its daily activities.
All of our initial offers to major hospitals and health facilities went nowhere because it seemed they all had the same issue – they also were holding huge supplies of their own.
We began the distribution with a trickle of smaller deliveries, some to the Rotary District D9800 Donations in Kind Store, some to a local Medical Centre, and some to a medical research facility, but it was time for some lateral thinking if the project was to be achieved.
A preliminary check with a major animal rescue service and a large Veterinary Hospital brought no results, but a few “dog with a bone” members came to the party to the extent that all 253 cartons of equipment found new homes by mid-April – providing recipients with resources and cost savings that they value highly.
Large quantities of equipment went to animal rescue and veterinary services, including:
Second Chance Animal Rescue
  • Essendon Animal Referral Hospital
  • Cat Protection Society of Victoria
  • Unusual Pet Vets
  • Karingal Veterinary Hospital
Many cartons of Goggles went to Men’s Sheds, including at Aberfeldie, Strathmore, Brimbank, Melton, Taylors Hill, Sunbury, and as far as Birchip. The Sunbury Men’s Shed also requested some gowns to placate wives who were sick of trying to clean resins and glue from member’s clothes.
Last carton loaded – and the Community Hub is clear and available for its intended use.
The project was a great challenge - and in the end we were up for it.