MERRITT ISLAND — Between the continuation of mask wearing and the constant requirement to sanitize, personal protective equipment is a commodity that everyone needs in their lives.

A Merritt Island-based company called 8-koi has been donating PPE to schools, fire departments, and nonprofit organizations that serve indigenous and veteran populations.

As recently as February, 8-koi President Inga Young and Chief Operating Officer Dean Rosenquist hand-delivered KN-95 masks to JROTC and athletic students at Cocoa Beach Jr./Sr. High School.

Ms. Young and Mr. Rosenquist also delivered masks to Cocoa nonprofits Volunteers of America and Down the Road Thrift.

Outside of Brevard County, 8-koi has delivered masks to Palm Beach State College in Florida, and Jemez Mountain Public Schools and Sandoval County Senior Center in New Mexico.

8-koi is an Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business government contractor specializing in design engineering, construction, technical & administrative, and health-care related services.

“When we started to see the need for masks and hand sanitizer, we were able to procure them for the government and deliver them to federal agencies that were finding those supplies hard for them to get,” Ms. Young said.

In the next few weeks, Ms. Young said she hopes to receive a contract for 8-koi to assist FEMA with COVID vaccine distributions across the United States.

8-koi is currently working to provide shelter at the border in Texas.

“I grew up in Brevard County so the community is very important to me and I like to see [it] develop,” Ms. Young said. “I think we’ve been fortunate being in Florida, compared to other states. I would hate to see anybody have hardship due to the pandemic.”

The company has been growing, and is currently looking to fill a position in El Paso, Texas. There are two other offices in Florida, Jacksonville and Melbourne. 8-koi is currently headquartered in Merritt Island.

Space Coast Women in Defense named 8-koi as the 2020 STEM Business Innovator of the Year, and in 2018, the company was selected by GrowFL as a “Florida Company to Watch.”

“I have advice for anyone who wants to be in business,” Ms. Young said. “Work hard, follow your dream and anyone can do it.”

For more information, visit www.8-koi.com.

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