Two WNY organizations helping those in need are working to distribute PPE

Western New York

(WIVB)– Southern Tier Brewing is currently open for business in Lakewood and selling beer across the region. But this pandemic has hit their business, similar to many others.

About 35% of the company’s beer sales go to restaurants. So when those closed up shop back in the spring, gallons of product was dumped.

The brewery was forced to temporarily furlough workers. And for about three months, they focused solely on making hand sanitizer.

“The local fire department, our local hospitals, and doctor’s offices were really struggling to get any type of hand sanitizer so we were able to pivot and get them hand sanitizer at a very discounted price.”

Phin Demnik, Founder, Southern Tier Brewing Company

Despite the company’s losses, Southern Tier founder Phin Demink says he still wanted to give back to others.

So he came up with the ‘City of Good Neighbors’ program and reached out to a familiar face to help.

Del Reid, the founder of 26 Shirts helped the brewery come up with this apparel that folks can buy to support the cause.

“It’s a huge deal for us, we think it’s flattering, we’re just really excited to partner with them.”

Del Reid, Founder, 26 Shirts

To kickstart the program, Southern Tier themselves donated $10,000.

8 dollars from every shirt and sweatshirt sold will go to the United Way, which will fund a PPE giveaway across Erie, Chautauqua and Niagara counties.

Demink hopes to give PPE out to more than 30,000 people across Western New York.

“Everywhere you go you see people wearing masks and I think we’ve started taking it for granted a little bit because if you remember back in the Spring it wasn’t so easy to come by masks, I mean Erie County was showing you how to cut up a t-shirt to turn it into a mask so you could go outside.” “it’s really helping out those in the community that can’t afforded the same opportunities to provide themselves protection. That’s not acceptable, we have to do what we can to help those who need it.”

Del Reid, Founder, 26 Shirts

You can buy these ‘City of Good Neighbors’ shirts and sweatshirts through December 31.

To buy a shirt or sweatshirt, enter for a chance to win a free shirt or to donate directly to the cause click here.

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