Right now, in New York City, many hospitals have already run out of supplies for its frontline healthcare workers — the doctors, nurses & healthcare staff who are treating COVID-19 patients. Some have told us that they are most likely sick with COVID-19, but there aren’t enough tests for them to get a definitive answer. Now, they’re telling us they're wearing the same mask for four days.
As New Yorkers, we couldn't just sit around and watch — we’re fighters.
We began to speak with medical professionals and hospital administrators and have identified that their greatest needs are masks — it’s their first line of defense when dealing directly with COVID-19 patients.
We started this fundraising campaign to provide a solution to this supply gap, and are pledging 100% of our GoFundMe donations to source US NIOSH-approved N95 Respirators and KN95 Respirators from CE-certified factories and delivering PPE directly to NYC’s busiest Emergency Rooms and Intensive Care Units.
The Greater New York region has over 200 hospitals and 1,400 residential-based healthcare providers. Overwhelmed doctors have told us that hospitals can go through as many as 20,000 masks a day. Today, hospitals are experiencing a massive shortage of supplies and need our help while they’re saving lives.
Our goal is to acquire, distribute, and deliver a million masks to hospitals in NYC with the help of your donations!
If we surpass our goal, we will keep acquiring additional PPE for frontline healthcare workers until every last penny is spent.
We will be posting stories & photos of our donations, hand-offs, and the doctors you are helping on our Twitter (@a_million_masks ) and Instagram (@amillionmasks ).
Stories From The Field
“The shortage of face masks is so severe that the CDC is now advising nurses and other health care providers that they can "use homemade masks" like a "bandana" or "scarf" "as a last resort" -- even though it admits the effectiveness "is unknown." - @GeoffRBennett, NBCNews White House Correspondent
“Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City told staff it had a week's worth of masks left on Friday [3/13], BuzzFeed News first reported. Five employees and three patients have been diagnosed with Coronavirus at the cancer hospital.”
"There is such a shortage of masks -- we were finally given one per person. That one mask is supposed to last us for at least a week. We are told to reuse them each day, which completely puts us at risk. We are now disinfecting the mask ourselves after each shift -- wiping down with bleach before we start work again the next day." - NYC ER Doctor
#GetMePPE: Dr. Megan Ranney told @JohnKingCNN. "We need masks TODAY. We are pleading on social media, #GetMePPE, to keep me and my patients safe... [https://bit.ly/2J0PzJs ]
What does success look like?
If we can save one healthcare worker from being infected, we already consider ourselves successful. If a healthcare worker is infected, that means they will call in sick, meaning there is less coverage and reduces a hospital's capacity to properly take care of its patients, which has already begun happening.
Our current primary goal is to get as many medical masks into the hands of frontline healthcare workers as fast as possible. We're hearing that most hospitals in NYC are either extremely low on supply or have already run out. Speed here is crucial. We also have been hearing that some hospitals around the country as well as other frontline essential workers are experiencing shortages as well.
How will the funds be used?
100% of the funds will go directly to facilitating the purchase and delivery of masks and other urgent Personal Protective Equipment for frontline healthcare workers at New York City’s largest hospitals, and the administration needed to make the program possible. Our entire leadership team is donating their time and have foregone compensation for their work. No one on the leadership team for A Million Masks is benefiting financially in any way from this campaign.
Why NYC first?
"As of Thursday morning, there have been at least 33,066 confirmed cases of the coronavirus discovered in the state, including more than 20,000 in New York City. At least 310 people with COVID-19 have died in the state, which has the largest number — a little less than half — of confirmed cases in the U.S." -- NY Magazine, 3/26/20
What have you accomplished so far?
(1) We've identified supply partners we plan on working with for the acquisition of US NIOSH-approved N95 Respirators and KN95 Respirators from CE-certified factories
(2) We have built a comprehensive database of major hospitals in the NYC area and are in touch with many of the Chief Physicians of their Emergency Rooms & ICUs to understand their immediate needs.
(3) We have already begun distributing N95 masks and plan on working with supply partners to scale those purchases in the coming weeks. We are constantly putting the money we raised to work.
Why aren’t the hospitals & government ordering these masks directly?
Hospitals, as well as government agencies, are trying their best to procure masks. However, due to supply chain limitations and global competition, they are currently experiencing extreme shortages. We are fortunate to have close relationships with many of the factories producing masks.
To read more on what governments are doing: https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattperez/2020/03/19/president-trump-on-supplying-governors-were-not-a-shipping-clerk/#1e7875581af5
To read more about the mask feeding frenzy: https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2020/03/30/i-spent-a-day-in-the-coronavirus-driven-feeding-frenzy-of-n95-mask-sellers-and-buyers-and-this-is-what-i-learned/
I’ve seen other charity efforts related to COVID-19. How is this one different?
Your donation will go directly to support the acquisition of NIOSH-approved N95 Respirators and KN95 Respirators from CE-certified factories for NYC healthcare staff at the frontlines of COVID-19. Because of the global shortage of masks & PPE, donating to a non-profit that strives to operate at the highest standard is the best way to ensure counterfeit products aren’t being donated to hospital workers. Unlike other charities, ours is related directly to the supply of NIOSH-approved N95 Respirators and KN95 Respirators from CE-certified factories, because we believe that protecting our frontline healthcare workers is the most important thing to do right now. We will be sharing photos & videos of healthcare workers receiving the donated equipment, so you can see your impact on the local NYC community.
How do you prioritize who receives the mask?
The healthcare workers on the frontline of COVID-19 are those in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and in the Emergency Room. We try our best to donate masks to ICU & ER Units within NYC’s largest hospitals, as they are the ones who are likely to have the highest volume of cases.
Are donations tax-deductible?
Currently, donations are not tax-deductible. If you know of a 501(c)3 charity in this space that would like to sponsor our effort, we would love to partner with them. Until then, we have realized that the need is so urgent that we must move forward and hope that you will donate. This is subject to change, and we will be sure to update donors promptly.
I am an ER/ICU healthcare professional at an NYC hospital that is currently treating COVID-19 patients. We are short on masks. How do we request masks?
Fill out this form: http://bit.ly/ammppereq
Aside from donations, how can we help?
Feel free to follow us on social media: @a_million_masks or on Instagram @amillionmasks or share our cause with your friends!
If you are an ER and/or ICU frontline healthcare worker, or a hospital supply administrator you can e-mail us with a subject headline “Hospital Professional: PPE Requests” at [email redacted]
If you want to volunteer to help us with NYC distribution you can e-mail us with a subject headline “PPE Distribution Help”.
If you have a direct relationship with PPE manufacturers that can provide equipment at market costs, you can e-mail us with a subject headline “PPE Equipment Manufacturer”.
If you are a member of the press or would like to connect us with a member of the press, you can e-mail us with a subject headline “Press Contact” to [email redacted]
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