Thousands of masks, bottles of hand sanitizer donated to Belleville employees

Photo Courtesy of Belleville Township
Belleville business owner Richard Park has donated thousands of masks and bottles of hand sanitizer to be used by municipal workers.

BELLEVILLE, NJ — A generous donation of personal protective equipment from a Belleville business owner will go a long way toward continuing to keep township personnel safe, according to a May 14 press release.

A shipment of 30 boxes of surgical masks and 72 boxes of hand sanitizer — 60,000 masks total and 1,440 16-ounce bottles — has been donated to Belleville workers by Richard Park, who owns a logistics shipping and storage business called Art Movement. The donation was so large that it took township employees a couple of hours to unload it from a truck.

Police Capt. Frank Pignataro said the supplies will be distributed among the police and fire departments, the department of public works, and other municipal workers. Some of it will also be made available to various personnel throughout Town Hall and in the municipal court.

The rest of the hand sanitizer and masks will be stored in the police department to replenish the other departments when supplies grow low.

Even though cases of COVID-19 continue to drop in Belleville and other parts of the state as supplies of the vaccine continue to become more readily available, Pignataro said many of Belleville’s employees will likely be using PPE for some time to come.

“This generous donation will certainly be used by our workers,” Pignataro said. “Our police, fire and EMS personnel continue to respond to medical emergencies on a daily basis. There’s a very real chance that the people we encounter on these calls could have COVID-19. So, wearing a mask and sanitizing our hands has been an important part of how we go about our jobs. Things will likely stay this way for the foreseeable future.”

Park’s generous donation — like those big and small made by many residents and business owners since the pandemic began in New Jersey in March 2020 — have touched the hearts of Belleville’s municipal workers.

“How wonderful it is that Mr. Park and others have been so thoughtful and sought ways to take care of our police and fire personnel and other first responders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mayor Michael Melham said. “We appreciate it, and I’m sure no one appreciates it more than our first responders. This will help keep them safe while they are working to keep us safe.”