Melissa Cary

Melissa Cary, owner and CEO at Studio 19 Salon Spa, 19 E. 4th St. in Mansfield, is accepting dropped off donations of personal protective equipment at her location Monday from noon to 3 p.m.

MANSFIELD -- Melissa Cary isn't letting the COVID-19 outbreak, which forced the closure of her Studio 19 Salon Spa last week, stop her from helping the community.

The 40-year-old business owner on Monday afternoon was using her 19 E. 4th St. location as a drop-off point for personnel protective equipment, which she will pass along to OhioHealth Mansfield and the local Emergency Management Association.

Businesses and residents could drop off the PPEs -- including masks, gloves and hand sanitizers -- that are used in the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus.

"We obviously know there is an incredible need for PPEs for our local responders and our hospitals," Cary said. "So we thought we could help the community by creating a drop-off place where small businesses, like barber shops, salons and tattoo parlors, could bring them."

Cary said those dropping off items could do at the curb. Before 1 p.m., there were a few bags of donated items already present on the front couch of her stylish salon.

"We have definitely felt the impact of the coronavirus," said Cary, who purchased the downtown salon two years ago. "But we know we're not alone in this, either.

"I told my team that everyone in this community has helped support my business for the past two years and it's the least I can do to try to give something back," she said.

Cary said she would like to extend the drop-off to more days beyond Monday. She said residents who wanted to help could even purchase items at the store while shopping and drop them off at her location.

"I know (first responders and hospitals) would appreciate it because they are in desperate, desperate  need of it and it's important that we all continue to think of each other through these times," Cary said.

"I would love to be able to do this as long as we are able."

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"