WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Healthcare workers across the country are facing a lack of PPE, or personal protective equipment. 

Those are the gloves, masks, and gowns healthcare workers are donning during the coronavirus pandemic. They need it in order to to do their jobs effectively and safely.

Healthcare workers in Central Georgia say they’re not immune to the problem, and that’s what prompted a Houston County pharmacy to get involved.

Staff at the Medicine Stop Pharmacy in Warner Robins have been making hand sanitizer in-house. They started asking customers to buy a bottle to donate to healthcare workers, and the pharmacy would match the donations.

In just three hours, customers bought 21 bottles, so the pharmacists delivered 42 bottles of hand sanitizer to Houston Medical Center.

Since then, they have been ordering as many supplies as they can, like gloves and masks, to donate to medical staff. They say it works because they don’t use the same suppliers as the hospitals.

Dhara Patel works at the pharmacy, and she says hearing a customer's story firsthand is what spurred them to help.

“I had a physician come to pick up medicine and she was literally crying to me while she was sitting in my drive-thru,” Patel said. “She was like, ‘We don’t have any PPE, we don’t have face masks, we don’t have supplies'."

Patel says she wants to continue donating as long as there’s a need.

"I feel like if they’re doing that much to sacrifice for our community, I feel like we could do something," Patel said.

The pharmacy also wants to expand who they’re serving and eventually give supplies to hospitals in surrounding counties, as well as law enforcement and first responders.

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