A different kind of school supplies

Employees of the Amazon fulfillment center in West Jefferson and Madison County Public Health stand in front of stacks of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment headed for Madison County schools.

(Posted Aug. 27, 2020)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Eight skids stacked high with cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment made their way to Madison County schools last week, thanks to the Amazon fulfillment center in West Jefferson.

A month ago, Chris Cook, Madison County’s health commissioner, reached out to the distribution giant, asking for help in preparing area schools for the return of students and staff. Amazon responded with a donation of $50,000 worth of supplies.

“They came through in a big way,” Cook said.

“Amazon prides itself on supporting the communities where our associates live and work,” said Jesse Batarseh, general manager of the fulfillment center. “While this school year will be different from previous years, we’re proud to be supporting the efforts of our local schools to keep students safe in these difficult times.”

Some of the $50,000 worth of donated supplies heads out.

The donation included 720 cans of disinfecting wipes, 120,000 face masks, 1,728 cans of disinfecting spray and cleaner, and 1,494 large containers of hand sanitizer. The Madison County Emergency Management Agency and the Madison County Engineer’s Office provided vehicles and manpower to distribute the supplies. The drops were made on Aug. 24.

Madison County Public Health divided the supplies among the county’s schools: Jonathan Alder, London, Madison-Plains, West Jefferson, Tolles Career & Technical Center, Fairhaven, St. Patrick School, Shekinah Christian School, and Plainview Christian School.

“These are the schools I’ve been planning with for months, so I had a good idea what they needed,” Cook said.

William Mullett, superintendent of Jefferson Local Schools, was happy to receive the extra supplies.

“We are delighted with Amazon’s contrbution. It was a little bit of a surprise,” he said.

The school district has been stocking up on cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment in anticipation of returning to in-person instruction. Mullett said some products, like disinfecting wipes, have been hard to come by.

“Every little bit helps,” he said.

(From left) Debbie Sims, director of the Madison County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), EMA Deputy Director Holly Langham, and Rachel Swanson, emergency preparedness coordinator at Madison County Public Health, deliver cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment to St. Patrick School in London.

Debbie Adamczak, principal at St. Patrick School in London, is “extremely grateful” for Amazon’s donation.

“Learning in person is so important, yet it needs to be done with even more stringent safety measures than a typical school year,” she said. “Keeping hands clean, surfaces sanitized and wearing masks are three of the ways the Amazon donation will assist us with staying open five days a week.”

Cook said that safe, clean schools will give students the best opportunity to keep going to school which, in turn, will allow working parents to keep going to work.

“This is all intertwined. This next phase of the pandemic is so dependent on how well we do schools this fall,” he said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.