Midway drugstore helps people impacted by pandemic

Coastal Drug makes hand sanitizer
Coastal Drug makes hand sanitizer(WTOC)
Updated: Apr. 29, 2020 at 4:01 PM EDT
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MIDWAY, Ga. (WTOC) - During this unprecedented time, everyday people are stepping up in extraordinary ways. WTOC wants to share those stories in a new segment called Everyday Heroes. Coastal Drug in Midway is doing just that.

Business is different there, proving the virus curbs even business at a pharmacy.

“We shut down the front of our store," the store’s owner, Pete Nagel, said. "We do curbside and delivery only.”

The pandemic created a run on a lot of products. Hand sanitizer disappeared from store shelves nationwide. To increase supply, the FDA gave approval to certain manufacturers to make the product if they wanted. Nagel saw a need and knew he could play a part.

“As soon as they gave us the authorization to do so, we went out and found the products, found the ingredients that were required to make it and did the best we could,” Nagel said.

Nagel said he spent hours on the phone getting the alcohol and thousands of miles on the road getting the bottles. Production started soon after that.

“I believe that’s kind of like our calling," Nagel said. "We’re able to do what we can, and that’s one thing we were able to do. So it’s been huge for this area.”

Nagel and his team donated some to area hospitals. They drove other bottles to an Atlanta hospital. They sell the rest in their store. The best part: all the proceeds benefit the United Way of the Coastal Empire’s COVID Relief Fund, specifically the programs in Liberty County.

“Not everybody can donate thousands of dollars," Nagel said. "Not everybody can go out and be a front line worker; it’s just do what you can. Everybody has a part they can play.”

“This is the reason I became a pharmacist. I wanted to help as many people as I can," pharmacist Harnish Patel said. "By doing this and working with Pete, I think it’d fulfilling something that I really enjoy doing, and that’s helping people.”

Helping people, maybe in a different way than this pharmacy thought, but in an important way nonetheless. That’s why they’re WTOC everyday heroes.

So far, Nagel says they’ve made over 1,000 gallons of sanitizer. They’ve donated about $2500 to the United Way.

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