MURPHYSBORO, Ill. (KFVS) -Southern Illinois Healthcare was the recipient of a major donation at the Southern Illinois Airport on Thursday morning, July 16.
Woody Thorn, SIH VP of Community Affairs, said they cannot be more thankful for their new partners.
He said they received some much needed N95 protective masks and hand sanitizer from an organization called the Tuskegee Next Foundation
Tuskegee Next is a flight school based out of the Chicagoland area. They fly out of DuPage Airport, 30 miles west of downtown Chicago.
Marcellus Freeman, one of the pilots and a graduate of the Tuskegee Next Program, wanted to become a pilot his whole life.
“It’s very difficult to become a pilot in the first place, it’s harder for minorities. I can tell you from first-hand experience,” Freeman said.
After working at Rush University Hospital in Chicago, Freeman wanted to give back as much as he could.
“I’m not necessarily on the front lines, so to speak, as the nurses are. I work in security, but we see what they go through every day and we see what the patients deal with every day and I know how serious this is,” said Freeman.
SIH will be partnering with other agencies in southern Illinois to give away half of the donations they received.
“We’re going to work with partners, at the request of the foundation, who are also in need of these supplies, to distribute 5,000 of the 10,00 mask that are being provided to us to other agencies here in southern Illinois,” said Thorn.
Donations are expected to be distributed by August 3, according to SIH.