MIDLAND, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) – As we continue to fight in the battle against COVID-19, community members are stepping up in generous ways, and carrying each other, through the pandemic. For example, a local group called Just One Life is doing so by donating personal protective equipment to those in need.
The mission of Just One Life hits home for West Texas brothers Don and Jim Hillman. They believe it is no coincidence that they were given this chance to give back.
Don almost lost his life 20 years ago to a rare poisoning by bat feces. While traveling from Seattle to Birmingham on a new assignment for the Air Force, he came in contact with the bats when he stopped to explore a cave with his wife.
Months later, Don became very ill. He was taken to a hospital in San Antonio where doctors could not figure out what was causing his health to deteriorate. After the diagnosis, a long road to recovery, and lots of prayers along the way, Don miraculously improved and went back to enjoying his life.
Don now works as a Physician Assistant with Ward County Hospital. When the coronavirus pandemic broke out, he took it upon himself to promptly advise others and played an instrumental role in the Masks for Monahans movement.
“That connection of the bats between the two instances and Don’s kind of proactive, taking care of his family, taking care of the community down there, was the inspiration behind Just One Life,” said Executive Director, Heidi Kirk.
All six of its volunteers come from different walks of life, but their vision resonates the same. So far, 100 percent of donations have come from their own pockets. As of this coming Monday, they will have delivered almost four thousand masks.
“Our goal is to donate personal protective equipment – whatever is needed. If it comes down to needing to help feed people, whatever it’ll take to help people kind of get through this COVID-19. And if we’re able to help save just one life in the process of donating these masks and other items, then we know we fulfilled what we were called to do.”
Just One life is now taking its operations beyond borders as well, as they look to expand its membership and donations.
“Sharebysky.com is one of the places you can actually donate to us. That should be live either today or tomorrow. Share By Sky is a group of pilots from all over the U.S., and they’re ready to fly products anywhere they need to be.”
For Tina Strickling, a member of the Fundraising Committee, she knew she could not waste anymore time just standing by watching.
“When he kept saying ‘Just one life, just one life, we could do something to save just one life,’ I thought you know, he’s right. We don’t need to just sit here and idly wait and expect somebody else to take the baton and run with it. There was nothing holding me back. I couldn’t think of a reason why I wouldn’t want to support something like that.”
Those who wish to contribute can contact Community NationalBank and ask to donate to the “Just One Life” account.