Updated: Jan 28
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many organizations do business and interact with customers. The same is true for Hopewell Recreation and Parks who found themselves shifting gears from programming and events to emergency management, logistics, and community outreach. When Hopewell received a large donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the city administration immediately began planning the best way to distribute PPE to citizens. After a brief discussion, it was determined that Recreation and Parks was the best fit for the task based on the department's staffing, involvement with emergency operations, and additional resources. The department immediately began packaging face coverings, hand sanitizer, and important printed materials into kits that would be delivered door-to-door to every household in the city. Part-time department staff handled most of the packaging of the kits in the gymnasium of the Community Center, which had become a temporary logistics staging area to support the PPE operation. A field team of between 8-12 staff worked daily from sunrise to sunset equipped with golf carts, sunscreen, plenty of water, and tablets. The tablets were used to record delivery of each kit at every household. After 10 days of distribution, the field team realized their goal of delivering PPE to each household in the city - totaling almost 10,000 individual residential units. The Recreation Department received assistance from Hopewell Fire and Rescue, Hopewell Code Enforcement, and the Emergency Management Office throughout the operation. The PPE distribution program was truly a historic time for Recreation and Parks, showing that the department was able to acclimate to the current needs and go well beyond normal daily duties. Stay tuned for details on the next round of PPE distribution for Hopewell residents.