Members of diaconate answer the call to help hospital staff

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Deacon Alex Garvey put out a call for aid recently, and people were happy to respond.

Deacon Garvey, who serves at St. Mary Church in Greenville and is vice president of mission at Bon Secours St. Francis Health Systems, reached out to his brother deacons and men in formation and their families, looking for Personal Protective Equipment for hospital staff.

He said they needed masks, gowns, face shields, protective glasses and shoe covers. The deacon also encouraged people to think outside the box when making donations and find dual uses for everyday items, such as using disposable rain ponchos as surgical/isolation gowns.

Jason Werny, who is in formation to be a deacon at Our Lady of the Hills Church in Columbia and is a manager at Home Depot, answered that call in spades, sending in boxes of masks to the St. Francis hospital system.

And it didn’t stop there.

Cristene Diesso, coordinator for the diocesan office of the Diaconate, said there were many other people who sent donations from the diaconate community, both deacons and the men in formation. Most sent homemade masks, she said, but others sent PPE from their businesses.

Donations to the hospitals were met with an emotional and grateful response.

“Please continue to pray that the Blessed Mother will cradle us in her mantle of compassion and intercede for us to our Lord, Jesus Christ,” Deacon Garvey said.