When Warrawong dentist Dr Shabbir Kermali ordered bulk hand sanitiser while setting up King Street Dental and Medical late last year, he could not have known how rare it would become.
Yet rather than hoard it during the COVID-19 crisis, he and wife Rehana - a pharmacist - decided they could make a difference by putting together individual hygiene packs filled with small bottles of sanitiser, a facial mask, oral hygiene products and a leaflet on hygiene protocols.
With the help of their four children, they've so far distributed almost 500 packs throughout the community - including a local nursing home, senior citizens at Warrawong library and to house-bound customers who've contacted them.
"It was my wife's idea, as she had run out of hand sanitiser at her Shellharbour Village pharmacy and was concerned that people couldn't access it," Dr Kermali said.
"So, along with the children, we poured hand sanitiser from the large commercial bottles into smaller take-home dispensers, and added a few more items. We wanted to do our bit to help out those who are most vulnerable."
The couple is also making changes to their businesses. Mrs Kermali has had to put medications including Panadol and Ventolin behind the counter to prevent stockpiling, while Dr Kermali will reduce all non-essential dentistry and focus on emergency cases, and appointments at the medical centre.