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  • Melinda Murphy

Donate the gown

As graduation day came for Nathaniel Moore, a physician’s assistant at the University of Vermont, Burlington, he wondered why his graduation gown couldn’t be repurposed as a piece of personal protective equipment for his colleagues at the hospital where he worked.

“The image of my colleagues on the front line and at other medical facilities that lack the appropriate PPE and wearing trash bags with no sleeves and no protection under the waist, that just struck me,” 30-year-old Moore told Reuters.

Attempting to help other frontline health workers, Moore started Gowns 4 Good, a charity which has been donating gowns to hospital facilities that lack the necessary PPE to safely operate during the coronavirus outbreaks.

The slogan “Wear the Cap, Donate the Gown” has since been used to decorate many virtual graduation caps across the country to raise awareness for Gowns 4 Good.

With millions of young American students graduating from university every year, the ingenious donation scheme could potentially end the PPE demand for gowns in just a few days.

“Graduation gowns are more effective than other PPE alternatives given their length, sleeves, and easy zippered access,” reads the organization’s website. “To carry out this mission of protecting healthcare workers by upcycling graduation gowns, the Gowns4Good initiative was formed in April 2020.”

Medical facilities across the country have already submitted thousands of gown requests from the charity. Thus far, Moore has managed to collect 7,000 from private donors and another 2,700 from corporate partners Graduation Source and Cooper Cap and Gown.

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