BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. – On Friday, while people continue to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Sunshine Ace Hardware decided to help its neighbors to the south.
The island nation of Haiti received its first shipment of the vaccine last month but is struggling to keep it refrigerated.
Haiti is not exactly in their local delivery area, but thanks to the help of some other community organizations, they are now supplying cool boxes to help ship the vaccine to the rural areas of the country.
Working with community organizations Leadership Collier and Hope for Haiti, President Michael Wynn of Sunshine Ace Hardware says they donated 17 Yeti coolers to be successfully transported outside of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
Wynn says this is a growing problem for Haiti as many of their remote communities have no electricity.
“One of our core values is taking care of your neighbors, and you can argue that they are a little distant neighbor, but neighbors nonetheless. In all fairness we have a lot of Haitians living in southwest Florida. People with families there is just one more way we can help our staff and other Southwest Florida residents, ”said Wynn.
Wynn says the cool boxes can keep the vaccines at a desired temperature for several days so they can be successfully transported and stored.
Wynn says the 17 cool boxes will allow hundreds of dozen of dozen vaccines to reach these communities, with all of the cool boxes already on their way to Haiti.
“The Yeti cool boxes, which are very durable and can keep things cool so much longer than traditional cool boxes, are a perfect partner for us to keep hundreds of dozen of dozen of vaccines in each cool box and ultimately to help thousands of Haitians get them to receive this very important treatment, “said Wynn.
Wynn says that after the program is complete, the coolers will continue to be used to hold other medications like insulin and antibiotics that need to be kept cool.
He says some of the inspiration to expand their reach came from the community support they saw at Sunshine Ace Hardware during the pandemic.
“The way they have supported us, we have supported local restaurants, nonprofits and other neighbors like Haiti with their needs, and I think people see that we keep giving back to the community when they give us back,” said Wynn .
Hope for Haiti is still raising funds to buy more cool boxes and other expenses.
You can find a link to get in touch with them here.
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