The need for personal protective equipment in the communities surrounding both USC campuses has grown throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, University Relations has partnered with USC Auxiliary Services and 53 community organizations to distribute more than 7,500 supply kits to residents of these neighborhoods.
The goal of the drive is to get much-needed protective equipment to the university’s neighbors in South L.A. and near the Health Sciences Campus. The community kits included face masks, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer, all of which have become difficult to acquire because of shortages or cost.
“The community care package is a small reminder to our neighbors that we will overcome this pandemic together,” said Sam Garrison, interim senior vice president of university relations. “This effort was made possible thanks to generous contributions by members of the USC Board of Trustees. I would like to give a special thank you to USC Auxiliary Services for stepping up and packaging all bags. The generosity demonstrated is a key part of the Trojan Family, and their efforts exemplify our commitment to being good neighbors.”
This will allow us to deliver these critical supplies at no cost and save lives.
Skipp Townsend, executive director of 2nd Call — an organization in the West Adams area that works to reduce violence and create better economic opportunities for residents — noted that his neighbors have found it difficult to find or afford certain supplies during COVID-19.
“There are a lot of people that don’t use masks because they say they can’t afford them. They can’t buy hand sanitizer because prices have been inflated,” he said. “This will allow us to deliver these critical supplies at no cost and save lives.”
Critical supplies fulfill major needs during COVID-19
The kits were put together by employees from the USC Bookstore, with 75 individual kits being produced per hour.
The Rev. Luis Espinoza of St. Agnes Church in South L.A. is grateful that these COVID-19 supplies are being distributed at a time of great need in the community.
“This is going to go a long way,” he said. “There are families that have been financially impacted because of the pandemic, and these items have become a little more expensive. They can focus on using the funds they have available for food.”