As the Baltimore-Washington region makes progress in the battle against COVID-19, two local nonprofits are leading an effort to airlift up to 20 tons of medical supplies, personal protection equipment and food to Ecuador, one of the Latin American nations hardest hit by the global pandemic.
Dubbed Operation Mary-Dor, the relief effort is being led by two Maryland-based charities with decades of experience organizing medical missions to Latin America and other regions, The Healing Hands Foundation and the Ecuadent Foundation.
The groups have teamed up with several local small businesses owned by Ecuadoran Americans and has received considerable support from the Maryland Catholic Conference. The effort is being assisted by the Maryland Office of the Secretary of State, the Ecuadorian Consulate in Washington and the Embassy of Ecuador.
To date, more than three tons of urgently needed medical products, PPE, cleaning materials and non-perishable food have been donated by individuals and local businesses and delivered to drop-off locations along the Washington-Baltimore corridor.
Entirely funded by private contributions, Operation Mary-Dor is actively soliciting donations of specific goods along with cash donations, 100 percent of which will go toward purchasing items additional materials. The group is also recruiting volunteers to package the supplies for a mid-July flight to Ecuador.
To help, drop-off locations for donations are listed at ecuadent.org and a list of local drop-off locations and information on donating and volunteering is available at facebook.com/ecuadorincrisis or by calling 410-561-1800.