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Locals collect goggles for health care workers

Ski goggles will be accepted between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Weiss & Wirth Interior Design, 406 S. Hyland Park Drive in Glenwood Springs (across the street from the Sayre Park tennis courts). Carbondale’s drop-off site is Ragged Mountain Sports in the Sopris Shopping Center.

It’s been said that one way to help yourself get through hard times is to help others.

For Glenwood resident Heidi Vosbeck, the timing was right for World Cup ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin’s April 16 appearance on Today.

Watching Shiffrin discuss Goggles for Docs gave her something positive to work toward after a bad day.

“The day before I saw Mikaela’s interview I had been handed my COVID-19 reality. Meaning, the city of Glenwood Springs had let all part-time employees know they were laid off. I had several other events happen to me that day as well and felt my world was falling apart,” Vosbeck said.

Vosbeck, an exceptional endurance athlete, had always had plenty of work to keep her busy before the pandemic. “I am a veterinary technician. I teach some classes for the CMC veterinary technician program, and I have a pet-sitting business. I also am a fitness instructor at CMC and hopefully someday again for the city of Glenwood Springs,” she said.

Goggles for Docs was something she had been thinking about already.

“A pet-sitting client, Joyce Wirth, and I had talked about what we could do to help in this world crisis. She sent me a link to [Goggles for Docs]. At the time I was trying to get my CMC classes set up online and did not research it much,” Vosbeck said.

Goggles for Docs is an effort to get used or new goggles into the hands of health care workers who currently have no eye protection as they treat COVID-19 patients, according to the website (gogglesfordocs.com). Hospitals can sign up to request goggles, and drop-off sites around the country are listed.

“I grew up ski racing. I have always admired Mikaela Shiffrin, and when I heard her talk I knew I needed to get involved,” she said.

It was her chance to help others.

“When I was reminded of this Goggles for Docs cause, I said to myself, ‘This is it. This is my way to help, to have a project, to try to do some good,’” she said. “So I looked into the cause and saw there was still a huge need. I saw there were already drop-off locations in surrounding areas including Carbondale, but I thought that Glenwood Springs needs a location,” Vosbeck said.

Vosbeck and Wirth have set up a collection spot at Weiss & Wirth Interior Design, 406 S. Hyland Park Drive in Glenwood Springs (across the street from the Sayre Park tennis courts). Ski goggles will be accepted beginning this week, and times will be 11 a.m. through 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Joyce and I are hoping to have some response. We have been spreading the word through social media, email, friends, family, newspapers, etc., over the past few days,” Vosbeck said.

Carbondale’s drop-off site is Ragged Mountain Sports in the Sopris Shopping Center by the roundabout. The Post Independent was unable to reach coordinator Ashley Bean for comment.

Goggles are listed foremost among personal protective equipment that Valley View is asking for on its COVID-19 assistance page, http://www.vvh.org/news/help-our-fight-against-covid-19/.

But even if local hospitals don’t need goggles, Vosbeck said, ”I am allowed to look through the list and send donations to any hospitals or locations on the list. It may not be one located in Colorado.”

That would be at her own expense. “The people volunteering to have drop-off locations are at this point responsible for shipping costs. It’s their contribution to the battle against COVID-19.”

cwertheim@postindependent.com


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