Teens Raise Money To Offer PPE And Hope

KRLD Difference Makers

Susy Solis
May 29, 2020 - 8:57 am

Fear of the coronavirus struck close to home for Clay Van Eaton, a junior at Highland Park High School. 

"We had a family friend who was working in the ICU and they didn't have enough PPE," Clay said. 

That was enough to prompt Clay and his family and friends to start a fundraiser in hopes of buying personal protective equipment for those most in need. The crew quickly raised $4,000 and was able to buy thousands of masks. But their campaign didn't end there. A friend of theirs donated more than 100,000 masks to the group. The only problem...the donation was coming from New York. Clay reached out to the Southwest Airlines. With most planes grounded due to the COVID-19, Southwest Airlines was mostly shipping cargo and happily donated a flight from La Guardia to Love Field to ship the masks to Dallas. 

"We distributed the masks to nursing homes, hospitals and different police stations across Dallas," Clay said. 

Related: See More KRLD Difference Makers

The group had been diligently donating sandwiches to the Soup Mobile, which feeds thousands of homeless people in Dallas. When Clay reached out, he learned they were in need of 10,000 masks. The group was able to donate 10,000 masks to help the homeless community. 

We're proud to call Clay Van Eaton and Southwest Airlines this week's KRLD Difference Makers. 

"It's just a small way we could help the community when they needed it most. Especially the hospitals, doctors and nurses who are risking their lives everyday and the first responders, they're the real heroes," Clay said. 

If you know someone who is making a difference in the community, email Susy at susy.solis@entercom.com