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GOGGLES FOR DOCS

Ellicottville businesses and community come together - again - to show their support, this time collecting new and used goggles for healthcare workers on the front lines.

What originally came by the request of an ER physician department head at a large NYC hospital, “Goggles For Docs” is an ongoing effort to get used or new goggles into the hands of healthcare workers who currently have no eye protection as they treat COVID-19 patients. When Spencer Timkey, manager at The Boardroom Snowboard Shop in Ellicottville, heard about the initiative, it was all hands on deck.

“As a snowboard shop, we were desperately trying to find a way to help in any way that we could,” said Timkey. "Fortunately, Goggles For Docs got on our radar. Once a few of our brands like Burton and Smith donated over 1,000 pair of goggles each, we knew that this thing would have some legs.”

The Boardroom went to work, preparing a drop-off bin so the general public could donate their new or gently used goggles.

“I hadn’t even posted anything yet — just kind of mentioned it to someone — and 30 pair showed up in the bin,” Timkey continued. “And a huge thanks to Kim Reading and the rest of the crew at Mud, Sweat n’ Gears for their significant contribution. The Ellicottville community continues to amaze us. We hope we’re just getting started here.”

In just a matter of days, The Boardroom collected 143 pair of goggles, sending out their first shipment earlier this week. As of today, Goggles For Docs has donated close to 30,000 pair of new and used goggles, and that number continues to grow. While the Goggles For Docs website lists medical institutions from around the world, The Boardroom will try and ensure all of the donated goggles stay locally, whether going north to Buffalo or the immediate area.

“It’s apparent the Buffalo area remains in desperate need of any equipment they can get their hands on,” Timkey said. “After donating to the Erie County Sheriff’s Correctional Health Department through the site, I received a call saying a sheriff would be driving down from Buffalo to get them at once. We’re in a position to help people, and that’s what we’re going to continue to do.”

Even though the first round of donations has been distributed, the front porch of The Boardroom continues to serve as a local drop-off location. Interested in donating? Goggles can be new or used, tinted or clear, ski-style goggles (the same style used for motorcycles, snowmobiles, etc.) or lab goggles; please no swim goggles. The Boardroom’s only request is that everyone practices social distancing: if someone else is on the porch dropping off, please wait until they are finished.

To prepare your goggles for donation, wash your hands for 20+ seconds, and thoroughly clean your goggle preparation work area with disinfecting wipes or spray and a clean rag. Then carefully wipe down and clean all parts of the goggles being donated using your disinfecting wipes or spray and a clean rag and let dry. Once dry, place each pair of goggles into a clean, unused Ziplock bag and seal the bag. Visit the gogglesfordocs.com website for more detailed preparation instructions under the “How it Works” section. If you aren’t donating locally, you can also find information there on how to ship.

In addition to preparation instructions and a slew of additional information, several testimonials on the gogglesfordocs.com website speak for themselves: “We as anesthesia providers are at the frontlines of managing patients with COVID-19; we are called to placing breathing tubes and are in the airway and directly exposed to this virus many times every day. Please help us stay safe."

The ER physician who made the original goggle request is the nephew of a race coach at Catamount Ski Area. An excerpt from his original letter that started this effort reads, “Personal Protective Equipment is of utmost importance. I have been amazed by the response to personal requests to my aunt and uncle who live in Steamboat, CO for old ski goggles. This idea has quickly spread from Steamboat, to Crested Butte, to Denver, and to you. Quite amazing.”

For more information regarding Goggles For Docs, check out gogglesfordocs.com. If you’d like to donate locally in the Ellicottville area, drop your prepared goggles off on the front porch of The Boardroom Ski and Snowboard Shop, 6113 Route 219. You can find The Boardroom on Instagram at @boardroomeville or Facebook at The Boardroom Snowboard Shop. For all other questions, email contact@gogglesfordocs.com or join the Goggles For Docs Facebook Group.