PHOENIX (April 10, 2020) – A man who received help from the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) more than a decade ago after coming to the United States as a refugee is among those giving back to his community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yarsiah Momolu Sirleaf recently donated 6,000 ear loop face masks to the county’s Donations Warehouse. He says he is simply returning the support once given to him.
Sirleaf went through the Refugee Health program at MCDPH in 2004 and still is impacted by his visit to a local hospital for a tuberculosis test during his arrival to the area he still calls home. “I had a very good welcoming,” he said of his reception to the United States.
MCDPH established the Donations Warehouse to coordinate and manage donations of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which are desperately needed right now to support health care workers and first responders.
So far, MCDPH has received 760 N95 Masks and more than 25,000 latex gloves of various types. Berenise Bauer, who is managing the program as part of Public Health’s Office of Preparedness and Response, said she is grateful for how the community has responded.
“I am so amazed at the generosity individuals have shown during the COVID-19 crisis. It gives me hope to see the good in people,” said Bauer.
Sirleaf is doing more than donating PPE. Seven years ago, he established the organization Koukatonon Community Organization, which translates to "We Are One." The organization supports refugee transition, integration and global education.
“We are ready to give back to the community in which we live. The virus is spreading and that is impacting the whole community, and we are part of that community,” he said.
If you have personal protective equipment to donate, you may drop items off at the Donations Warehouse at the Reception Area located at 1645 E. Roosevelt St, Phoenix AZ, 85006, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
Those needed PPE items are:
- Surgical Masks
- N95 Respirators (Masks)
- Isolation Gowns
- Face Shields or Goggles
- Exam Gloves
Additional supplies are also needed, including:
- Hand Sanitizer
- Paper Towels
- Disinfectant Wipes
For donation items in good condition not listed above, MCDPH is asking that you coordinate pick-up with the Salvation Army or other charitable organizations.
For additional information on COVID-19 in Maricopa County, visit maricopa.gov/COVID19.