By Shawn Raymundo

In an effort to get much-needed protective equipment such as surgical masks and gloves for health care professionals working around the clock during the current health crisis, a group of San Clemente High School alumni will host a pair of donation drives at the CVS on Camino de los Mares.

The group, comprising mostly class of 2016 alumni from SC High, is encouraging residents and businesses to drop off unused N95 masks and surgical masks and other personal protective gear such as disposable gloves and gowns. The donations will go to those working at Mission Hospital.

Tony El-Sokkary, a 22-year-old UC Davis student who’s currently back home in San Clemente during what would have been his spring break, explained that doctors at Mission Hospital, including his father, are running low on masks and are having to reuse the masks they do have.

“Originally, (the masks) are intended for single-use,” El-Sokkary said, adding that “it’s not ideal” to reuse the masks.

Acknowledging that he doesn’t imagine many members in the community will have such protective equipment readily on hand, El-Sokkary said the group is banking on “those who stored up on the masks ahead of time but not using them frequently” to donate to the cause.

Otherwise, he added, residents may be able to find the equipment at department stores, assuming they have some in stock. El-Sokkary also said he’s hopeful some smaller health offices may be willing to donate supplies.

The group will hold the first drive this weekend, accepting donations Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the CVS parking lot on Camino de los Mares. The group will be back out there again the following weekend from Friday, April 3, through Sunday, April 5.

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