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Every donation helps—even the small ones

Finding hand sanitizer and other disinfectants can be a challenge during the COVID-19 outbreak. Every donation matters, including the gallon of sanitizer recently given to the Riverhead, N.Y., Corps on Long Island.

It came from a distillery in Riverhead  called Twin Stills Moonshine. Licensed distilleries are now permitted by the government to make hand sanitizer to help meet the increasing demand.

“When we were notified last week that there was a shortage of hand sanitizer, we got permission to make it using CDC regulations,” said owner Joe Cunha. “We started producing it for free and giving it out to a lot of different organizations.

“We did it to help the community. It’s as simple as that.”

The Salvation Army picked up a gallon this week with a promise of more.

Captain Frenie Antoine of the Riverhead Corps said many people in Riverhead are losing their jobs and depend on food pantries, which need to be sanitized.

“We’re one of the few food pantries still open,” Antoine said. “We have an influx of people coming to our soup kitchen and food pantry.”

The soup kitchen now involves a grab-and-go bag system at the front door of the corps. The corps is also delivering food to senior citizens’ complexes, hotels, and private homes.

“We are using this bottle of hand sanitizer to clean up around the building because there’s a lot of packing and putting things together,” Antoine said. “We still have our employees here and a few volunteers so we’re making sure the building is staying sanitized and clean and the people are washing their hands.

“Hand sanitizer is definitely hard to find. I went to the supermarket and they don’t even have an aisle for it anymore.”