One of the newest stores to come to South Jersey is already connecting with communities, donating nearly $25,000 worth of PPE to help Deptford and National Park first responders avoid contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Ocean State Job Lot, a discount retailer that opened its first South Jersey store Nov. 20 in Deptford, has donated pallets with thousands of KN95 masks, disinfecting hand wipes, hand sanitizers and gloves to the Deptford Police Department and to both the Deptford and National Park fire departments.
The Ocean State Job Lot Charitable Foundation is currently distributing more than $1.7 million worth of additional PPE to police and fire departments in the 142 communities where company stores are located across the Northeast and since March has distributed $15 million worth to help in the fight against coronavirus, company officials said.
“As this global health crisis continues to take a toll on our healthcare and public safety systems, it’s imperative to provide any support and relief to our frontline workers that we can…and help keep them safe,” said David Sarlitto, foundation executive director.
“At OSJL, we’re deeply invested in philanthropy and community reinvestment, and these donations are just another example of our commitment to that as well as the incredible generosity of our customers.”
Job Lot area team leader Tom Bergamo of the 409 Almonesson Road store said the Rhode Island-based company has made donations to the communities it serves since the business started more than 40 years ago.
“We are incredibly grateful for everything our local first responders do for in our community every day,” said Bergamo, who was raised in Vineland and now lives in National Park.
He said the company adds 100 percent of all donations customers make at the cash register to company funds to aid local first responders with PPE.
“We really appreciate the PPE from Ocean State Job lot PPE and we really can use it,” National Park Fire Chief Mark Gismondi said after receiving their pallet Thursday and loading boxes into a fire truck with some of the 25 volunteer firefighters.
Since last year he said the fire company has sponsored fundraisers so it could buy PPE for the department.
Detective Bob Jones, Deptford police public information officer, said the department is blessed and appreciative at having community partners like Ocean State Job Lot.
“We handle 45,000 calls a year, so we use a lot of PPE. I
t goes to help our 65 police officers and 10 non-police personnel and we also use it for victims, witnesses and suspects who come into the station if they need it,” he explained.
The department receives another donated service every week from another local business, Servepro Industries.
”They come at no cost to us and sanitize all our patrol cars every Monday,” Jones added.
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