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April is Volunteer Appreciation Month! At Get Us PPE we want to profile some of our amazing volunteers who have offered their time to advance our mission.

Get Us PPE’s volunteers come from all walks of life – high school students, college students, professionals, and more! Below are some of Get Us PPE’s volunteers working in the day-to-day operations, matching donated PPE to facilities in need, and reaching out to healthcare workers to collect data on PPE needs. Without them, Get Us PPE could not have delivered over 12 million pieces of PPE.

Trenton Reinicke

Trenton Reinicke, Get Us PPE Volunteer

Trenton Reinicke tirelessly works to match donated PPE to facilities in need.

Trenton has been a “matcher” for Team-Match since March of 2020, connecting willing PPE donors with facilities in need of that PPE. Outside of Get Us PPE, Trenton is a student at the University of Colorado Springs, an EMT, and a research assistant. In his free time, Trenton loves to mountain bike, hike, and find his zen with yoga.

Why did you join Get Us PPE?

I started volunteering because I could not stand to see our healthcare system challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, not to mention the fact that we had a shortage of the necessary PPE for medical providers to properly care for those in need. I felt an obligation to help and I am super thankful to have found Get Us PPE!

Proudest moment at Get Us PPE

My proudest moment–there are actually several. Nothing is more motivating than the phone calls and emails I have exchanged with physicians, nurses, and other recipients and being able to get them much-needed PPE. When the pandemic started, I would hear frontline workers stating, “we have nothing.” Being able to combat that with this organization is truly amazing. One recipient distinctly told me, “You have helped us reopen our clinic to serve the people of Brooklyn, NY. We are so thankful for your organization.” It is the thankful images, phone calls, and emails I have received that have motivated me.

What have you learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE?

I have learned that there are many incredible individuals who are willing to dedicate their talents and time to make an organization like this happen. Not to mention the selfless donors of PPE that I have gotten to know.

Kim Pananides

Kim is the Healthcare Outreach’s Disaster Response Team Lead and Caller for Homeless and HIV/AIDS Teams. She is retired from a banking career and loves to travel, especially in connection with her two other passions, opera, and theatre. She also loves baking, spending time with her hubby and cat, and pouring over the newest issue of the New Yorker–cartoons first.

Why did you join Get Us PPE?

To contribute to the efforts being made to address the struggles created by the pandemic and the low levels of PPE in our country, and to fill my time in a productive way instead of obsessing over all the bizarre and disconcerting news every day.

Proudest moment at Get Us PPE

There is no one thing that comes to mind, but every day at Get Us PPE I’m reminded that a positive, impactful difference can be made by making calls, listening and responding to people in need, by brainstorming with fellow volunteers and other contacts, and by connecting with folks in the “disaster world” to learn more about dealing with natural disasters and how to respond to them, and that’s a really remarkable feeling.

What have you learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE?

That each volunteer here has an amazing capacity for contributing to the common good of the organization; this is a key to making Get Us PPE a strong force for good! On the practical day-to-day front, learning Slack, Zoom and some of the other tech stuff that we all use here has been a good stretch.

Veronica Ibarra Najera

Veronica Ibarra, Get Us PPE Volunteer

Veronica Ibarra joined Get Us PPE after experiencing the PPE shortage crisis firsthand.

Veronica volunteers as a Population Champion at Get Us PPE. She is a college student at UC San Diego and works at a nursing facility as a Certified Nursing Assistant as well as at a veterinary clinic as a veterinary assistant. Along with her many activities, she also enjoys hiking, reading, yoga, fostering animals, and trying new food.

Why did you join Get Us PPE?

As a Certified Nursing Assistant working at a senior nursing facility, I experienced the shortage of PPE first hand when a resident asked for a face mask because she was going outside. After asking at the nurse’s station I was told to tell her that we simply did not have enough for everyone. It was then that I knew I wanted to become involved in the community to get PPE to those who need it.

Proudest moment at Get Us PPE

I would say it’s the opportunity of being the bridge of communication that connects those who need PPE to donations which is an important responsibility of the volunteers.

What have you learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE?

Teamwork! This whole organization is driven by teamwork as well as timely communication. I’ve also learned the importance of making connections and networking in order to better serve the community and fulfill the needs and goals.

Anita Zahiri

Anita is on the Healthcare Outreach Team for Get Us PPE and works on communicating with and accessing the PPE needs of various Social Service organizations around the country. As a student in New Orleans, Louisiana, Anita is interested in medicine and health equity. In her free time, she enjoys swimming, spending time with friends and family, and learning new things.

Anita Zahiri, Get Us PPE Volunteer

As a Healthcare Outreach volunteer, Anita Zahiri communicates with at-risk facilities to assess their PPE needs.

Why did you join Get Us PPE?

I started volunteering with Get Us PPE as an M2 caller since I wanted to contribute to these vital efforts and help distribute PPE to medical professionals and healthcare facilities around the nation during this time of crisis.

Proudest moment at Get Us PPE

My proudest moment at Get Us PPE came when talking to a healthcare facility with an extreme PPE shortage. The facility was overwhelmed with patients over the phone and they expressed to me that they are beyond grateful that this organization is giving them hope in this time of crisis.

What have you learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE?

I have learned so much from my volunteering with Get Us PPE, but I would say that one of the main things that I have learned over time is how to communicate with people of all ages and backgrounds and the importance of community during a time of crisis.

Kelsey Wu

Kelsey Wu, Get Us PPE Volunteer

Kelsey Wu volunteers as an Outreach Caller

Kelsey is a sophomore student in high school and volunteers as Head High School Volunteer, Outreach caller for the Incarceration Team. For fun, she loves to watch K-pop videos and anything related to K-pop.

Why did you join Get Us PPE?

I believe it’s a great way to offer a hand during this pandemic. Also, Get Us PPE’s values intertwine so nicely with the hopes of my future occupation as a doctor, so coming across this opportunity truly was a lucky catch!

Proudest moment at Get Us PPE

My proudest moment was when I helped recruit over twenty high school callers for outreach efforts!

What have you learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE?

That even high schoolers and regular people who have no experience in the medical field can help during a crisis as large as a global pandemic.

Maia Tordillo

Maia Tordillo, Get Us PPE Volunteer

Maia Tordillo volunteers as a healthcare outreach caller.

Maia is a sophomore at Diamond Bar High School in Los Angeles, California currently striving to be an Orthopedic Surgeon. At Get Us PPE, she is a Population Champion for Healthcare Outreach in the subteam HIV/AIDS. For fun, Maia enjoys playing basketball, playing the bass clarinet, and collecting Pop Vinyl figures.

Why did you join Get Us PPE?

I started volunteering at Get Us PPE because I strive to pursue a career in medicine in the future but was also devastated to hear that people throughout the country had a limited supply of PPE. I wanted to contribute my free time to helping those who need it in any way possible.

Proudest moment at Get Us PPE

My proudest moment at Get Us PPE was my meeting with a lead coordinator of an advocacy group from Florida. It felt good knowing I was contributing my time and energy to something bigger than myself.

What have you learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE?

I learned better time management, communication, and teamwork skills. When volunteering all of these are key to doing our job successfully.

Clair Kim

Clair Kim, Get Us PPE Volunteer

Clair Kim volunteers as a caller, reaching out to at-risk facilities to determine their PPE needs.

Clair volunteers as a caller at Get Us PPE. Clair is a freshman in high school, involved with many clubs and activities such as HOSA, Interact, piano, clarinet, and volunteering around the community. In her free time, Clair enjoys hanging out with family and friends, making new experiences with loved ones.

Why did you join Get Us PPE?

I started volunteering at Get Us PPE because of an opportunity at my high school club called, HOSA. I couldn’t resist this opportunity as it would build my communication and leadership skills while helping those in need.

Proudest moment at Get Us PPE

My proudest moment at Get Us PPE was when I made my first call because of the experience and knowledge that I could be helping someone that needed PPE desperately.

What have you learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE?

One thing that I have learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE is patience and communication. During these difficult times, everyone is unsure of the events that are happening around them. When calling hospitals and organizations, it is very rare to get a clear message through. I have learned to communicate more thoroughly and to be patient with those in need as they have their own lives as well.

Virginia Lee

Virginia Lee, Get Us PPE Volunteer

Virginia Lee is an outreach caller for Get Us PPE

Virginia is a high school student who volunteers for Get Us PPE as an outreach caller. She loves to watch Netflix, read books, draw, and talk with friends in her free time.

Why did you join Get Us PPE?

My high school’s medical club called HOSA offered us this opportunity, so I decided to help out within my assigned role. I really wanted to volunteer and get more involved in some way during the pandemic and this was the perfect opportunity.

Proudest moment at Get Us PPE

My proudest moment at Get Us PPE was my first successful call. For the first time, I was able to go through the entire call form with one of the facilities. A lot of my other calls had issues where I could not get the right person or I was left on hold. Not only having a successful call but also hearing the person on the other side of the call sound so grateful meant a lot to me. It motivated me to continue calling facilities, knowing how much it could help them during this pandemic.

What have you learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE?

I learned to be more patient and to listen. Sometimes it is frustrating to get put on hold or wait for the call to be transferred, but helping them out overrides the occasional frustration. My communication skills have definitely improved as well. I stutter and hesitate less when I speak. I used to struggle with communication, but now I am able to speak with confidence.

Amy Wang

Amy Wang, Get Us PPE Volunteer

Amy Wang is an outreach caller for Get Us PPE

Amy is a high school student at Diamond Bar High School. At Get Us PPE, she volunteers as a caller for social services. Inside, she enjoys reading, playing the piano, and drawing. Outside she likes volunteering and swimming.

Why did you join Get Us PPE?

I started volunteering at Get Us PPE since it is a great way of giving back to others and has taught me many new skills. I also feel that volunteering itself is very self-rewarding as it allows me to tackle new challenges and be part of a community.

Proudest moment at Get Us PPE

My proudest moment at Get Us PPE was when I made my first successful call. It was great to hear the healthcare worker feeling relieved that she could possibly receive a donation of PPE since they were in need of it.

What have you learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE?

I learned both time management and interpersonal communication skills. Time management has helped me efficiently complete my tasks while communication skills have assisted me in thoroughly conveying my ideas and thoughts to others at Get Us PPE as well as healthcare workers.

Kezia Varghese

Kezia Varghese, Get Us PPE Volunteer

Kezia Varghese is a phone bank caller for Get Us PPE

Kezia is a phone banker volunteer. Outside of Get Us PPE, she works as a dental assistant and enjoys dancing with her daughter.

Proudest moment at Get Us PPE

At this time of the pandemic, I am able to lend a helping hand to people in need. Even though I am not able to meet people in person, I am able to create a change in people’s life. I am glad that I am part of this chain.

What have you learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE?

Teamwork brings dreams to reality.

Diamond Bar HOSA Club

The Diamond Bar HOSA Club is a dedicated group of 33 students from Diamond Bar High School in California.

As a club, they organize events such as featured guest speakers, general meetings, and assemble fun interactive health occupation games. At Get Us PPE, they donated their time as volunteer outreach callers.

Why did you join Get Us PPE?

As a community, we wanted to help in the efforts of COVID-19 as best as we could, and Get Us PPE has provided such an effective and safe way to achieve this.

Proudest moment at Get Us PPE

Actually being able to rally such a large group of volunteers together!

What have you learned from volunteering at Get Us PPE?

Being patient and learning from past mistakes.

 

Want to join the Get Us PPE mission to get PPE to those who need it most? Get Us PPE needs volunteers to help match PPE donors to facilities in need. 

Check out our volunteer opportunities for more information!

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Please help us get PPE to communities at risk. A $5 donation can supply an N95 for a healthcare worker.

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Priscilla Woo

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