News

Meritus Health donates supplies to Ukraine

It’s approximately 5,000 miles as the crow flies to Ukraine. The distance felt a little closer at Meritus Health as staff and volunteers loaded boxes that would end up in the hands of those facing war with Russia.

The connection point is Len Poole, the wife of Alan Poole who works in the Meritus Health IT department. Poole is from Ukraine, and her family remains there today.

“We are trying to get them what we can,” Poole said. But, by ‘them’ she doesn’t mean only her family, but the Ukrainian people.

Boxes filled with a large splattering of items were loaded into the couple’s vehicles. Items ranged from splints, braces, hospital gowns, gauze, even outdated branded items like tote bags; medical supplies or items that could no longer be used at Meritus Health.

“It was word of mouth. Everyone started collecting items,” said Mark Simmons, value analysis coordinator in the Meritus Health supply chain department. “Even some of our vendors, like Medline, sent donations.”

Simmons had collected the items, that go from the Pooles to a church in Silver Spring where Len Poole volunteers.

“The supplies are then shipped through our network of volunteers, and they get the items where they are needed most,” she said.

As the refugee coordinator at St. Andrew Orthodox Ukrainian Cathedral, Poole says the church accepts donations and even purchases equipment when needed

“Clothes, hygiene products, even non-weapon tactical military supplies,” she said.

The items leaving Meritus Health depart for the trip to Ukraine on Friday. However, that would not be the first or last load of supplies.

When asked if she gets to speak with her family, Poole said she does multiple times a day, helping to coordinate efforts on the ground.

“It’s a network. The majority of time, we are talking about what is needed and where it needs to go,” she said.

And now, thanks to kindness and generosity, the supplies are on their way.

More information on the mission to help Ukraine can be found here.