Handmade helpers: Brownsville residents receive free hand cleanser

Austin, Texas made Tito's Handmade Vodka visits Brownsville, Texas Sports Park Satruday, Aug. 1, 2020, to distribute thousands of Tito's made hand cleanser sanitizer to thousands of Brownsville residents to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

More than 20,000 hand cleanser bottles by Tito’s Handmade Vodka were given away for free Saturday morning at the Brownsville Sports Park as hundreds of cars started to line up around 4 a.m. to secure their spot at the contactless drive-through lane.

Since beginning production in late March, Tito’s has donated hand sanitizer to critical frontline workers at over 500 organizations in Central Texas and to 30 states and counting across the United States, officials said in a press release.

“We’ve seen a lot of demand for hand sanitizer in Texas and want to continue to supply the residents of our home state with our hand cleanser to help keep them safe,” said Taylor Berry, VP of Brand Marketing at Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

“After giving away sanitizer for free in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio earlier this month, we’re now here in Brownsville to give back to the Rio Grande Valley, one of the nation’s hardest COVID-19 hotspots. We have plans to expand this program to additional Texas cities in the coming weeks.”

Austin, Texas made Tito’s Handmade Vodka visits Brownsville, Texas Sports Park Satruday, Aug. 1, 2020, to distribute thousands of Tito’s made hand cleanser sanitizer to thousands of Brownsville residents to help fight the spread of COVID-19. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP)

Attendees at the giveaway were asked to remain in their cars, wear a mask and simply pop their trunk as volunteers and workers placed the brown paper bag with three hand cleansers inside.

“We really appreciate the efforts by Tito’s in donating this product to the citizens of the City of Brownsville. We know about the shortages at the stores for hand sanitizer and other essential items. This provides much needed supplies for families to protect themselves from this virus,” Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez, who attended the event, said.

“While other parts of the state may forget about the current issues affecting the Rio Grande Valley, it is great to have companies like Tito’s go out of their way to support and help our residents.”

The Brownsville Herald reported on Friday that the Rio Grande Valley has now surpassed 30,000 COVID-19 cases, according to data released by officials from the four counties Friday.

A total of 30,500 people have now tested positive for the virus Valleywide, as officials in Hidalgo and Cameron counties reported an additional 38 fatalities.

Officials in Hidalgo County have confirmed that 28 more people have died as a result of COVID-19, and an additional 360 people tested positive for the disease Friday.

The coronavirus has now claimed the lives of 644 Hidalgo County residents, according to the county’s figures.

Austin, Texas made Tito’s Handmade Vodka visits Brownsville, Texas Sports Park Satruday, Aug. 1, 2020, to distribute thousands of Tito’s made hand cleanser sanitizer to thousands of Brownsville residents to help fight the spread of COVID-19. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP)

In Cameron County, officials reported an additional 10 fatalities Friday, bringing the total number of fatalities to 216.

Additionally, 816 more people tested positive — shattering the single-day record for Cameron County by 85. The previous single-day record was reported Thursday, when 731 people tested positive.

In all, 10,971 people have tested positive for the virus in Cameron County, with a total of 4,065 having recovered, according to a statement issued Friday.

nreyna@brownsvilleherald.com