Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Employees from Cal-Pacific Supply stand next to a care pallet of goods donated to the Madera Community Hospital on Monday. Cal-Pacific donated more than $1,600 worth of supplies, including masks, coveralls, toilet paper, bleach and surgical masks. From left are Samuel Rodriguez, Miguel Ortega, Hector Vaca, Cal-Pacific owner Mike Alamari, MCH medical director Terrance McGovern and MCH CEO Karen Paolinelli.
After gathering all the items and putting them on a pallet, Cal Pacific Supply owner Mike Alamari was glad to be able to donate more than $1,600 worth of supplies to the place he was born.
Alamari, with help from a couple of his employees and Hector Vaca of Pacific Orchard Development, delivered a care pallet to Madera Community Hospital on Monday.
“We’re blessed that I was able to use our supply channels to get what we were able to get,” Alamari said. “We’re still finding alternatives for the ag guys. We made sure that the stuff that was needed went to where it needed to go — the front lines.”
MCH CEO Karen Paolinelli was on hand to see the delivery and she looked like a child on Christmas morning.
“It feels like Christmas,” she said. “Our staff is going to be so appreciative of these supplies. We just need to keep our careworkers and doctors safe. It means so much to us. Right now, when we do our estimation of our supplies, for our surgical masks, this week, we’ll run out of them. We’re not able to purchase them. It matters a whole lot to us. Anything we can get and our partners donating to us just shows our support of our community. In times like this, us coming together as a community is great.”
Alamari actually went to school with Paolinelli’s son Kenny so the delivery means even more to both parties.
“It’s so great that he went to school with my son,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing.”
The care pallet contained 6,000 exam gloves, 2,000 surgical masks, 800 N95 respirators, 200 coveralls, 30 gallons of bleach, 30 packs of toilet paper, disinfectant spray and disinfectant wipes. In addition, Alamari donated six forehead thermometers to the hospital at the last minute.
“She said she needed them and I had them here,” he said. “It’s okay, we’ll find a way to work it out in the field. We were more than happy to give them what we have. We’ll still take our precautions and our measures. They come first, obviously.”
Alamari first thought of donating when the outbreak first came to light, but found out more was needed and waited until he can give them a bigger donation and the look on Paolinelli’s face was all the payment Alamari needed.
“That’s the payment itself,” he said. “Originally, it was going to be a few N-95 masks. Then, I saw they needed gloves and we got some gloves. That’s why, after a while, I thought it has to be a whole care pallet because things are hard for them to get right now. We were lucky enough to have good suppliers. We had good redundancies in place to be able to get from all of our suppliers.”
Alamari looked outside the box for supplies like purchasing for food distributors since the food industry is slow.
“The gloves, for instance, we’re getting from the food service guys because they are shut down,” he said. “I’m calling all those distributors for food service and get gloves from them. They are basically sold out now. I was lucky enough to catch it before everybody else did. We just stayed in tune and more than happy to donate.”
In addition, Vaca and his company helped Alamari purchase additional bleach and toilet paper for the donation.
“I took it as an opportunity to give back to the community,” Vaca said. “With everything that is going on, I know supplies are scarce. As a supplier, myself, I can give him the money and he can take care of getting the supplies. It was nice to be able to do that.”
Alamari said he isn’t done. He is still working on getting more supplies to help the people on the front line, especially at Madera Community Hospital. He even received calls from other medical centers and he donated what he could.
“I was born here in 1990,” he said of MCH.