Former Detroit Lion works with Hope Network to donate ponchos amid COVID-19 outbreak

DETROIT – A former Detroit Lion has a new job these days and it sure isn’t kicking footballs. He had an idea to help keep frontline workers safe on the job amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The shortages of personal protective equipment for hospitals and nursing homes has been well-documented. It’s the smaller places you may not think about that are struggling too.

READ: Michigan governor looking at next week to roll out plan for reopening state

Steve Ragan is the executive vice president of Hope Network, a statewide health and human services nonprofit. They focus on care for adults with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges.

Ragan said they were severely low on isolation gowns for the 60 facilities they operate in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties. That’s where former Lion and current director of donor relations for Hope Network, Eddie Murray, stepped in.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said ponchos can be used as an effective alternative to medical gowns in the cases of shortages. Murray put the call out and M-Den in Ann Arbor stepped up.

In total, 5,000 Michigan ponchos are on their way to the Hope Network. Central Michigan University also committed to help. Ragan and Murray said not everyone who will wear the ponchos are fans of the Wolverines or Chippewas but it isn’t about that -- it’s about helping people.

If you have new, unopened ponchos the Hope Network will take them. They also need masks and face shields.

Click here for more information about Hope Network

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