Simply stated, the Bee Well Pharmacy staff and management just wanted their neighbors to be well during the ongoing and still occasionally tumultuous times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 18, Bee Well Pharmacy Pharmacist-in-Charge Keli Malkin and her colleagues delivered a sizeable donation of protective supplies for each of the approximately 600 residents of the Kenna Homes apartment complex on Kenna Drive in South Charleston.
Each of the donated bags contained a disposable mask, a pair of gloves and a bottle of in-store, compounded hand sanitizer, along with a note of support and encouragement for the residents.
“The idea came from our owner here, Ali Sherwani,” Malkin said last week. “He has a huge heart. He’s always giving, and he wanted to do something for the community in these trying times and when everything is starting to open back up. We wanted to be sure those who might not be able to get out too much to get some essential supplies who are just beginning to get out of their houses, have some form of protection.
“A good percentage of the Kenna Homes resident population is elderly, who would be more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 or becoming very sick from it as well,” she said.
“The residents are very excited to receive those packages,” Kenna Homes Facility Manager Amy Fleck said. “They actually were lined up when we opened this morning to get the packages.
“It’s been a great help to our community, and it will help the community tremendously,” Fleck said.
Malkin estimated that she and Bee Well Pharmacy Technician Neiko Stewart devoted more than 50 man-hours over a period of weeks to prepare the gift bags.
“Because it’s not easily available commercially, we got the orders in and I compounded all the hand sanitizer myself,” Malkin said.
Malkin added that she would be delighted to see the donations become the spark of a local “pay-it-forward” community movement.
“I hope of our act of kindness will breed other acts of kindness in our community at this difficult time. I have even thought of possibly starting a ‘Kindness Challenge,’ where we will begin a chain reaction of kindness and ‘challenge’ another business in the area to put their own spin on it,” she said.
Malkin joined Bee Well Pharmacy’s management team in January. A Bluefield native and resident, she graduated from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy in 2012.
Bee Well Pharmacy is located at 4501 MacCorkle Ave., S.W., Suite 101, in South Charleston. For more information, phone the pharmacy at 304-766-8484.