HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - Brian McCarthy, who usually volunteers to run the concession stands at Hillsborough Dukes youth events, is instead coordinating a supply drive seeking donations to purchase hand cream for nurses, doctors and other medical personnel in hospitals.

A post on the Dukes' Facebook page explains:

"Healthcare workers are working tirelessly protecting and caring for those in need. Their hands are beginning to chap and bleed due to the continuous washing/sanitizing that they have to do throughout their work day. We can't do much, but we can help by providing them with the means to be as comfortable as possible. 

Sign Up for Hillsborough Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

"Please help us by making a donation. The DUKES will use 100% of the donations to purchase healing lotions for healthcare workers in hospitals that serve our area(s).  Any amount would be greatly appreciated."

McCarthy brought up the idea at a recent Dukes' board meeting.

"I went to the board last week and posed it to them. Nurses are dealing with this on a daily basis; their hands are starting to chap and bleed because they need to wash their hands so often," McCarthy explained. 

The board, many of whom have friends in the health care industry, were sympathetic, according to McCarthy.

"We're all anxious to help, we wanted to try to do something from our homes; can solicit funds to get necessary supplies in to the hands of those that need it," McCarthy said.

"We're just trying to do what we can."

Organized in 1969, the Dukes are a non-profit youth organization that provides football and cheer coaching and competition for children in kindergarten through eighth grade with 200 families as members.

"People are always giving to us as a non-profit," McCarthy said. "Every season, we try to give back in some way to the community. Things aren't normal right now, so, let's try and do something different," McCarthy said.

One hundred percent of the money donated will be used to purchase hand cream, according to McCarthy.

The Dukes "Helping Hands - Protecting Those Who Protect Us" campaign has already raised over $1,200 through an e-mail blast to members and the Dukes' Facebook page, enough money to purchase 43 cases, each containing 48 7.5-ounce tubes of had cream, according to McCarthy. Preference will be given to those medical care professionals and volunteers known by members of the Dukes.

"We're going to help out front line workers and our own members of the Dukes, but also others," McCarthy said. "Right now we're focused on hand cream but as needs change we'll adjust." 

Area hospitals in Somerville and New Brunswick will benefit, with some of the hand cream destined for hospitals in Newark, where some members of the Dukes' family works, according to McCarthy.

"As money comes in we'll draw down and purchase more product and distribute," he added.

Donations can be made online at hillsboroughdukes.com.