BARRIE -- Businesses across Barrie are reaching into their supply closets and stockrooms to help provide the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre with more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the fight against COVID-19.

The RVH Foundation put out a call, asking businesses to donate masks, gloves and other pieces of PPE, and in just 40 hours, the foundation has already gathered several boxes of much-needed supplies.

“We reached out to a few people, and those few people reached out to others, and it really became a bit of a movement,” says RVH Foundation CEO Eric Dean.

The equipment, a medley of gloves, masks, clothing and other pieces, is piled high in a small room at the RVH Foundation office. They will be delivered to the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre to be checked and tested before use.

“Supply is currently okay,” explains Dean. “We’re making sure we’re prepared for what’s coming.”

The Barrie Construction Association was one of the first organizations to respond. The Executive Director for the Association, Alison Smith, put a call out to its members.

“Just as I hit send the phones started ringing,” Smith says. “People were dropping stuff off at our offices, people were dropping stuff off here,” she added, as she arranged several boxes of N95 masks on the pile.

The equipment has been coming in from construction companies, but also aestheticians’ offices, dental offices and more.

“What’s amazing is the community responsiveness. Everybody’s in this,” says Dean.

The businesses leave the equipment outside of the RVH Foundation office on Quarry Ridge Road, not at the hospital, and staff members pick it up, keeping a safe distance from those dropping it off.

Foundation staff is also collecting the equipment from businesses directly.

“There’s a protocol that we’re following. We’re asking, if it’s a pickup at a local business, to have it outside the business, ideally,” explains RVH Foundation Business Gift Officer Craig Stevens.

The donations aren’t just current stock. Some construction companies have already earmarked future orders for the hospital as well.

“It’s just amazing,” exclaims Stevens.

The RVH Foundation isn’t accepting individual donations for Personal Protective Equipment, but there are other ways to help frontline healthcare workers, such as buying them coffee or even lunch - from a safe distance - through the RVH Foundation website.