When Georgia Center for Nonprofits, MedShare and others partnered up to gather and distribute donated PPE across the state, GCN’s president/CEO Karen Beavor knew exactly who to call.
“We wanted to work through community foundations,” Beavor said. “They have wide reach to local nonprofits and can act swiftly as local coordinators. They have been terrific partners in multiple collaborative efforts with GCN to strengthen local nonprofits.”
When Cobb Community Foundation learned about the thousands of bottles of hand sanitizer and masks donated from companies like UPS, Disney and others, they immediately launched Operation Santa.
Using its online directory of Cobb and other nearby nonprofits, CCF immediately reached out to its CONNECTION partners. Within a few days, 44 Cobb-based nonprofits added 3,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, 5,300 adult non-disposable masks and 20,000 Disney masks for children to their lists of holiday wishes.
MedShare handled all of the logistics. They could provide the sleigh, but four pallets of hand sanitizer and masks had to be delivered to a location where they could be stored, packaged and picked up, requiring more space than CCF’s office could not accommodate.
“Not having any room at the inn was NOT going to stop us from helping our nonprofit partners,” said Cat Gankofskie, CCF team member and the organization’s Nonprofit Liaison and the Santa Claus of the operation.
“We had just cleaned out our garage, and the kids were home on break and needed something to do,” so Gankofskie made her Kennesaw residence the North Pole for Operation Santa.
On Dec. 22, MedShare’s sleigh delivered the pallets to Gankofskie’s Kennesaw residence and volunteer elves. Paul and Matthew Gankofskie and Graham and Zachary Washington put the packages together for the 44 nonprofits to pick up their gifts of PPE just in time for Christmas.