A helping-hand gets sanitized amid health concerns

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GILMER COUNTY, Ga. – Many have taken time in the recent weeks to say a special thank you to law-enforcement and emergency workers who are still at risk and cannot always maintain a “social distance” during their work.

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the Ellijay Police Department.

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the Ellijay Police Department.

This week saw another highlight in the community as two business owners stepped up to not only say thank you to those in service, but to provide a real need for them.

Laura Thomas is the owner and founder of Green Willow Soap in Ellijay. Her and her staff have been working hard this week to provide hand sanitizer to the public safety agencies in Gilmer. In fact, Gilmer Fire & Rescue, Ellijay Police, Ellijay Fire, East Ellijay Police, and the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office have all received hand sanitizer for their agents.

Thomas said, “All of the First Responders have received hand sanitizer to help them through their difficult jobs. GOD Bless them and protect them as they serve the people of Gilmer County.”

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the East Ellijay Police Department.

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the East Ellijay Police Department.

Heads of these agencies told FYN that the donation has answered a need as they have had difficulties purchasing and providing enough sanitizer during shortages. Creating and supplying the donation, Thomas said “My ladies have been working so hard to make this happen for our community.”

Gilmer County Fire & Rescue has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from our private citizens, as well as our local business leaders.  On Wednesday 4/1/2020 Green Willow Soap generously donated around 100 bottles of individual hand sanitizers for each of our fire and rescue crew members.  This donation of hand sanitizer will greatly assist with our mission of keeping our hands clean when soap and water may not be readily available at the conclusion of a 911 call.  We greatly appreciate them thinking of us during a time when anti-bacterial supplies are in short demand and hard to obtain.”

Danny Postell and Huff's Drugs donate hand sanitizer to the Gilmer Sheriff's Office.

Danny Postell and Huff’s Drugs donate hand sanitizer to the Gilmer Sheriff’s Office.

But Green Willow Soap is not the only business answering this need. Gilmer Sheriff Stacy Nicholson said that earlier this month, around March 20, Danny Postell and Huff’s Drugs donated handmade hand sanitizer as well.

Sheriff Nicholson stated, “These generous donations of hand sanitizer have been huge in respect to our deputies’ safety.   We have had a hard time buying it because of the high demand.  But Huffs and Green Willow came through not only with the “product” but provided it in a manner that we could give individual bottles to deputies to keep with them.  The donation from both was very much appreciated.”

Kauffman noted another donation for Gilmer Fire & Rescue saying, “We would also like to thank The Majestic Bee Bakery for dropping off boxes of individually wrapped cookies.  While it is a small gesture of kindness, the smiles from the crews are huge and show how much they appreciate these care packages.”

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the Gilmer Fire Rescue.

Laura Thomas and Green Willow Soap donate hand sanitizer to the Gilmer Fire & Rescue.

In addition to local businesses donating, Kauffman said they have had private citizens show their support in many ways.  Some of the items that have been donated to Gilmer County Fire Rescue include; N-95 face masks, surgical face masks, homemade face mask, gift cards, and baked goods.  Nicholson also pointed to several donations, the Sheriff’s office have added thank you notes to their social media for donations from Pizza King and Mindy K’s Bakery.

Gilmer’s public safety professionals have said they are very appreciative of our local citizens and businesses thinking of them and supporting them during this crisis.

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