A group of about 20 employees from the Medical University of South Carolina’s Environmental Services department volunteered to clean the inside of Emanuel AME Church after last Wednesday’s mass shooting.

In addition to day-to-day housekeeping services at Medical University Hospital and MUSC Children’s Hospital, Environmental Services employees clean up operating rooms and trauma units. John W. Lawyer Jr., assistant director of Environmental Services, says he and fellow assistant director Angie Starkey reached out to the church last Thursday to offer their help and expertise. He says he heard back from a church secretary Monday morning.

“Apparently the city or whoever it was tried to clean the church, and this is what we do,” Lawyer says. “I’ve been doing this over 20 years … We know where to look for blood. So she asked us to come down, so me and Angie Starkey went down to take a look at it, and I came back to the job and I asked for some volunteers.”

Lawyer says he loaded a truck with cleaning supplies donated by MUSC and took a crew of about 20 people to the church to clean it Monday afternoon.

“I took my team into the church and we did a blessing,” Lawyer says. “We did what we do best.”

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