MPC is helping a humanitarian organization in El Paso overcome the challenge of aiding larger numbers of migrants, while at the same time coping with COVID-19 and preventing community spread. The corporate refining and health services teams worked with the El Paso refinery to deliver 10,000 N95 masks to the Annunciation House, which has been providing shelter, clothing, food and other necessities to migrants from Mexico and Central America for more than 40 years.
The El Paso refinery assists the Annunciation House as part of the refinery’s broader commitment to community engagement and stakeholder support. After donating $5,000 to the facility in February, refinery representatives asked if there were any particular immediate needs.
“The director mentioned N95 masks specifically,” said the refinery’s Stakeholder Engagement Manager V.J. Smith. “The Annunciation House had been receiving more migrants from the local area and had also become the destination of many additional migrants who were being transported to El Paso from other places along the border.” Smith noted the El Paso community had suffered extensively from a COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
A short time after this discussion, Refining Safety, Security and Process Safety Management Director Fritz Kin was visiting the El Paso refinery and asked Smith to recommend a local charity for a personal donation he wanted to make. Smith suggested the Annunciation House, took Kin on a tour of the facility and then also told him about the N95 request. Kin soon began coordinating with MPC Medical Director Dr. James Dowling to arrange for two shipments of masks. On March 25, refinery representatives were joined by city and county officials in presenting the masks to the Annunciation House.
“Our local elected leaders said no greater cause exists in this area right now,” Smith said. “We are very pleased to be able to meet this need as part of MPC’s continual focus on serving the communities where we live and work.”