CHIPLEY- “We’re all in this together,” Corey Odom said as she and her husband Mark spoke about purchasing several thousand face masks for donation to Washington County, Florida.


“Mark’s business is considered essential, in that he is in the commercial contracting, plumbing, electrical, roofing and cleaning fields, and his over 40 employees needed masks.”


“As a Physical Therapist Assistant, I am also considered essential’, Odom said, "We decided that we would look into securing a number of the masks for our own use. In the process we realized that we could really help the community by adding a few thousand masks to our order and contributing them for high-risk use.”


As the Odom’s looked at needs in the community, it was obvious that health professionals, and even nurses in training, had a need for the masks, so they approached Martha Compton, Director of Florida Panhandle Technical College.


“The Nursing programs at FPTC, inclusive of Certified Nursing Assistants, Patient Care Technicians, and Licensed Practical Nurses, as well as Hemodialysis Technicians, all need to be safe,” she said.


“This is a challenging time for our students as well as instructors’, Martha Compton said, ‘as we gear up for virtual classrooms and online training, but some clinical work must be done hands-on for licensure and certification, and our students are faced with working with live patients. This gift from the Odom’s comes at a wonderful time, for our students as well as our instructors, and we appreciate them thinking of us. Our FPTC family appreciates this community, and we will make it through these trying times together.”


The Odom’s have seen others in need of the masks, and have responded to these needs. Corey Odom recently gave some masks to the staff of Main Street Market in downtown Chipley.


‘I stopped for fruits and vegetables and saw that it was probably advantageous for the Main Street folks to have some of the masks’, Odom said.


While downtown Odom also stopped at Emmie and Co., Sliced Deli, Badcock, Brickyard Market, Subway, Taco Bell, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Hardee’s, Piggly Wiggly and Blossoms to distribute masks, and was met with appreciative smiles and a hearty “thank you’s”.


On Thursday, ‘Kid’s World’ director Linda Hood expressed a need for masks, and within 20 minutes, Mark Odom delivered a package of masks to the business.


These and other masks will continue to be distributed. If you have a need for masks, contact the Washington County Government Annex at 850-638-6200.