Hope’s Door partners with Stop COVID-19 Special Operations Group to help the Northern Westchester High Risk Reduction Team

On Friday, May 29, Kevin Hansan, Pound Ridge Supervisor, Nicole Engel, Pound Ridge Director of Operations and Emergency Management, and Pound Ridge Police Chief David Ryan received and opened two pallets containing 500 protective face shields that were donated by Amcor, an international manufacturer of packaging solutions. Amcor, in an effort to support essential workers during a time of crisis, has repurposed one of its manufacturing sites to produce face shields. These shields, donated by the Amcor Flexibles North America Healthcare team, will be now used by police officers and emergency service providers throughout northern Westchester to enhance their protection against COVID-19.

The donation happened rapidly and is a testimony to how collaboration can have a true impact in a time of crisis. In April, Cecily Tyler, a member of Stop COVID-19 Special Operations Group (the “SOG”), reached out to Barbara Turk, Director of Development and Community Relations of Hope’s Door, to see how the SOG might help. Aware of the paucity of personal protective equipment for police officers and emergency service workers responding to domestic violence calls, Turk confirmed the demand for face shields with Janmarie Brown, Director of Community Services at Hope’s Door and a member of the Northern Westchester High Risk Reduction Team. Brown suggested Turk call Robi Schlaff of the Westchester County Office for Women, and Chief David Ryan of the Pound Ridge Police Department, to identify the best way these face shields could help county workers. The SOG reached out to Amcor, which was moved by the mission of the Domestic Violence High Risk Reduction Team, and organized the donation. Working together, they effected the delivery.

According to Chief of Police Dave Ryan, the incidence of violence in the home is on the rise during this pandemic. The situation is dire, with victims and children trapped in their homes 24/7 with their abusers. Chief Ryan recognizes the difficulties that victims face in seeking help while under such tight controls. “What we’re trying to do is work with our partners in government, other service providers, other law enforcement agencies, as well as domestic violence victims and survivors, to find new ways that victims can reach us for help,” he says. “With these face shields, officers and emergency service providers who respond to domestic violence calls can now feel safer entering the premises with these face shields and their fabric masks. We are very grateful for the donation,” he added.

Lionel Charpentier, of Amcor, participating in the activity via Zoom from Chicago, said “You are doing great work, the thing we are doing here is helping you to do it more safely.”

“I am honored to be a part of this collaboration that is crossing state lines and service sectors and demonstrating both the altruistic spirit and determination to help as many communities as possible during this global pandemic,” said Tyler.

Hopes Door is a domestic violence agency located in Hawthorne, NY, whose mission is to end domestic violence and empower its victims to achieve safety, independence and healing from the trauma of abuse. Hope’s Door has remained fully operational throughout the pandemic and the NYS PAUSE, with counselors and lawyers operating remotely and virtually. The Hope’s Door shelter operates 24/7/365, regardless of the pandemic or other external interruptions.

The shields were made and shipped to Pound Ridge in Westchester County, NY by Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical, home- and personal-care, and other products. Stop COVID-19 Special Operations Group (the “SOG”) helped coordinate Amcor’s donation to the Westchester Domestic Violence High Risk Team. The SOG was started by a group of healthcare executives to accelerate the deployment of solutions and technologies against the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences. Recent events have highlighted the tens of thousands of unseen front-line workers and volunteers that provide support to marginalized communities. Many of these heroes do not have the basic personal protective equipment. Stop COVID-19 Special Operations Group is focused on helping them complete their mission of improving the lives of others, critical in times like today. Supporters of Stop COVID-19 SOG leading this initiative include Lorraine Marchand, Julia Monfrini Peev, Angela Rossetti, Maria Siambekos, Cecily Tyler and Michael Williams.