Local business owner donates hundreds of masks to healthcare workers


WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Medical workers have been and continue to be on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, and that’s why one local store owner is doing what he can to support them.

Salk’s Ace Hardware and Marine has been around since 1900 and has locations across Rhode Island, but owner Jeffrey Salk says his family has never seen anything quite like this.

“This is all very surreal,” he said Friday.

After hearing healthcare workers were running short on face masks, he decided to donate more than 750 to Kent Hospital.

“These are the ones the nurses want and use,” Salk said. “They say the nurses are rinsing out their masks and reusing them. They are in dire need.”

However, he did make one exception.

“We had one customer who said, ‘my mother is having chemo,'” Salk explained. “He asked, ‘if you get any, please hold a package for me,’ which we did do.”

Salk said he didn’t hesitate to donate the items he bought because we all need to stick together now more than ever.

“With this pandemic, we all have to pull together, customers and residents and friends,” he said. “We don’t know whats going to happen when this is over with.”

“We’re just trying to help save lives, and if our effort of donating N95 masks can help the medical profession save some lives and not catch the coronavirus themselves, then it’s just the right thing to do,” he added. “The nurses called me – they are thrilled.”

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