Pictured above (L-R): Miranda Steele, Richard Broadus, Dr. Laurie Punch of StopTheBleedSTL, Henok Darsema, Blessing Kuebee of PrepareSTL
The African American Business Resource Group (AA-BRG), under the sponsorship of President and CEO Mark Trudeau, has been busy connecting with and addressing community needs — particularly those pertaining to the underserved Black community within St. Louis, Mo.
Recently, three members of the AA-BRG – Richard Broadus, Miranda Steele and Henok Darsema – spent time volunteering with PrepareSTL, a local communications and outreach initiative that provides vital educational literature and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the St. Louis community.
A cornerstone of PrepareSTL’s community outreach campaign has been its street canvassing initiative. Trained volunteers, who reflect, live and work in the communities being canvassed, post public health information in high traffic community hotspots that are located in areas with high rates of COVID-19 infection. In addition, PrepareSTL organizes community based giveaways of PPE, including face masks, hand sanitizers and gloves to the community’s most vulnerable populations, specifically African Americans, People of Color and low-to-moderate income residents who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
With the help of community volunteers and partnerships with local organizations like The T (a health education center founded by trauma surgeon and community activist Dr. Laurie Punch) and the Urban League of St. Louis, PrepareSTL has assembled and distributed thousands of PPE kits. The MNK team helped prepare 1,400 PPE giveaways for the community in only a few hours.
“It is unfortunate that there are people in our community who do not have access to basic PPE during this pandemic,” said Henok Darsema, Analytical Chemist. “I am glad members of the AA-BRG were able to help in preparing PPE giveaways for those who desperately need them.”
PrepareSTL is a collaborative campaign led by the Missouri Foundation for Health in partnership with the Regional Health Commission, the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County and other community health organizations whose mission is to help prepare all St. Louisans for the effects of the COVID-19 response, how to stop its spread, and how to survive the pandemic physically, emotionally and economically. https://www.preparestl.com/