NYC Underserved Communities Need Preparedness! Communities did not have a place to go to systematically receive PPE during Covid-19 or more recently, the 2023 Canadian Wildfires.
For example, NYCHA residents went without or made the choice whether to buy food or overpriced masks that they were required to wear on buses or in stores or at doctor's appointments. But our Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes volunteers filled the gap.
Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes from March 2020 to November 2023 has delivered over 25 million items of PPE, health, home and cleaning, and home products.
The pandemic is over but there are STILL no permanent locations in NYC to get FREE PPE, smoke detectors, cleaning products, and other free supplies that major corporations routinely want to donate.
The problem? NYC agencies currently typically say no to corporate donations due to the lack of warehouse storage space and operational distribution systems.
We are now working with the FDNY Vulcan Society of black firefighters and EMTs and the NYPD Hispanic Society volunteers to start permanent community warehouses where they will teach health and safety classes and hand out needed free supplies to NYC communities in need!
Help us get started and form the inaugural First Responder Community Warehouse in 2024! https://www.frcwarehouses.org/
Our Proof of Concept 60-Day Warehouse Trial was a Big Success! Over 100 community groups received 5.8 million items in 60 days, June-July 2021. Kimco Realty Corp. donated 50,0000 sq ft space, a former ShopRite in Staten Island.
These NYC First Responder Community Warehouses will facilitate overburdened communities to be prepared and feel ready in advance of emergencies with permanent and ongoing community supplies and safety classes such as education to help prevent more of the recent deadly Ion battery fires.
Every donation will be place towards the formation of these warehouses. Help Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes today so we can prepare those neighborhoods in need that were forgotten during the pandemic
Rhonda Roland Shearer director,
Message From 2023
Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes needs your help to continue our important mission in 2023! Please consider a year-end tax-deductible gift that will help us assist overburdened communities by providing critical supplies that make lives safer and offer support for just living. Our mission, starting in March 2020, by December 2022 has resulted in 22 million items being distributed into the hands of Harlem and Bronx children and families, first responders, veterans, hospital workers, homeless services and residents in public housing in New York City. The more money we raise, the more we can provide current priority areas East Harlem and The South Bronx.
Hospital workers were a focus in 2022. including BronxCare Hospital in the Bronx, Elmhurst Hospital in Queens and Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn. Elderly and overburdened residents in Chinatown were also a focus.
In June/July 2021 alone, Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes ran a donated 50,000 sq ft warehouse on Staten Island where dozens of healthcare, not-for-profit, and community organizations picked up 5.8 million items of free PPE and cleaning supplies for their operations and their workers.
A photo from our 50,000 square foot donated Staten Island warehouse space, where Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes gave out 5.8 million items of PPE and cleaning supplies to healthcare, community, and not-for-profit organizations for their operations and workers. See more photos here.
Questions & corporate donations, contact: info @ asrlab . org 212.925.8812
Media inquiries, contact info @ asrlab . org [phone redacted]
Checks can be addressed to: Art Science Research Laboratory 62 Greene St. 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10012
In addition to generous GoFundMe donations, we have received approx. $250,000 in cash donations through PayPal and checks made payable to our 501 (c)(3) Art Science Research Laboratory at 62 Greene St. 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10012. The more money we raise, the more people we can help! Below, we list the dates and locations where we handed out PPE in 2020, 2021. 2022 list is forthcoming!
In 2022, WCBS News Radio 880 awarded Rhonda Roland Shearer a "Difference Maker & #JeffersonAward winner" for "launching the nonprofit project, Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes to put free PPE in the hands of NYC hospital, nursing home, & homeless shelter workers."
In September 2020, People magazine featured our founder Rhonda Roland Shearer's PPE efforts. We need to raise approx. $350,000 more to pay off the PPE debt.
Above, Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes founder Rhonda Roland Shearer with members of the City of Hialeah Fire Department, which helped organize and distribute the more than 2 million items of PPE we brought to Hialeah, Miami and South Florida. Photo above taken in September 2020, documents Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes operation in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which was the biggest Covid-19 hotspot in America at that time, NBC reported.
“'This feels like having gold. Gold! Because we don’t have sufficient supplies. It’s very, very bad,' said Karen Titus, a nurse clutching a Shearer-issued bag containing seven surgical masks, a KN95 filter and a face shield" --
Above quotation from Washington Post article on our efforts. Thanks to the Post for reporting on founder Rhonda Roland Shearer.
We need caring people to step up so we can continue helping healthcare workers and others in need. 100% of your contribution will pay for PPE and trucking expenses needed to give NYC healthcare workers and others at risk PPE supplies.
Hospital Workers were a focus in 2022. including BronxCare Hospital in the Bronx, Elmhurst Hospital in Queens and Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn. Elderly and overburdened residents were also a focus in Chinatown.
In 2021 alone...
In the New York area, Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes has brought PPE to (2021 events below):
-Wyckoff Hospital (Sept. 8)
-Woodhull Hospital (Sept. 1)
Harlem Church Community and school outreach (August 26)
-St. Thomas Choir School (August 17)
-Ronald McDonald House (August 16)
-SOMOS (July 30)
-Elmhurst Hospital (July 14)
-Various police and fire departments (Throughout the summer)
-UA3 (Throughout the summer)
-National Action Network Disabilities Committee (June 8, June 28)
-King's County Hospital (June 11)
-Elmhurst Hospital Children's Event (June 3, August 17)
-Staten Island University Hospital - South Campus (May 26)
-SUNY Downstate and Woodhull Hospitals (May 21),
Elmhurst Hospital Security Police (May 15)
-Castle Hill First Responders (May 15
-Northwell Hospital Staten Island (May 13)
-Housing Works (May 13)
-Elmhurst Hospital (May 11)
-Montefiore Hospital (May 5)
-Bronxcare Fulton Campus (April 30)
-Bellevue Hospital (April 26)
-El Flamboyan Garden (April 24)
-Elmhurst Families (April 20)
-Firefighters (April 14)
-CHiPs (April 12)
-St. John's (April 12)
-Fire departments (April 3)
-Guild Education (March 29)
-Tiny Crowds (March 26)
-PSA Community 7 Event (March 26)
-Wyckoff Hospital (March 25)
-Housing Works (March 15)
-Lincoln Hospital (March 12)
-6 fire department groups (March)
-6 public housing complexes (March 3)
-Woodhull Hospital (Feb. 24)
-University Hospital of Brooklyn (Jan. 27)
-King's County Hospital (Jan. 27)
-Salvation Army (Jan. 22)
-Housing Works (Jan. 18, 22, and 25)
-NY Health Home Health Care Aides (Jan. 18)
-Woodhull Hospital (Children's Masks) (Jan. 13)
-23 Staten Island organizations (A Very Special Place, Crossroads Unlimited, Community Resources, Lifestyles for the Disabled, PCCS, AHRC, Heartshare, Eden II, On Your Mark, ILA, Grace Foundation, and United Cerebral Association of NY State, as well as Project Hospitality, Community Health Action of Staten Island, Visiting Nurse Association of Staten Island, Stella Orton Home Care, Richmond Home Needs Services, Eger Lutheran Homes and Services, Staten Island Care Center, Richmond Care Center, New Vanderbilt Rehab & Care Center, Silver Lake Specialized Care Center, and Carmel Richmond Nursing Home) (Jan. 8)
-VIP Community Services, Bronx (Jan. 7)
-And dozens of other healthcare, community, and not-for-profit organizations
-Claremont Neighborhood Center Holiday Event (Dec. 23)
-Bronx Community PSA 7/Community Council/Affairs Christmas Toy Giveaway Event (Dec. 19)
-Montefiore Hospital (Dec. 3)
-Housing Works' COVID-19 shelters (Dec. 1)
-Mott Haven Bar & Grill Turkey Giveaway Event (Nov. 24)
-Bronx Public Housing - Office of Michael Blake for Students in 79th Assembly District (Nov. 19)
-Bronx Public Housing - Office of Michael Blake for Students in 79th Assembly District (Sept. 24)
-St. John's Episcopal Hospital Back to School Giveaway (Sept. 3)
-NYPD PSA 7 Back to School event in the Bronx (August 27)
-Twin Parks Houses public housing in the Bronx (August 27)
-Jackson Houses public housing in the Bronx (August 27)
-BronxCare Hospital (Aug. 19)
-Matheny Hospital for people with developmental disabilities (August 11)
-Twin Parks Residences in the Bronx (August 7)
-Murphy Houses in the Bronx (August 7)
-Howard Houses residences in Brooklyn (July 30)
-Jackson Houses residences in the Bronx (July 23)
-VA Hospital Manhattan (July 23)
-Cypress Hills residences in Brooklyn (July 18)
-St. John's Episcopal Hospital, Queens (July 8)
-Queensbridge Houses in Queens (July 3)
-Metropolitan Hospital, Manhattan (July 2)
-River Park Towers in the Bronx (June 26)
-Ocean Hill apartments in Brooklyn (June 19)
-Harlem Hospital, Manhattan (June 17)
-Harlem Vet Center, PPE for Veterans & Community Members, Manhattan (June 12)
-Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn (June 10)
-Woodhull Medical Center, Brooklyn (June 9)
-James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx, PPE for Veterans (June 5)
-Woodhull Medical Center, Brooklyn (June 3)
-James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Bronx (May 31)
-St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark (May 27)
-University Hospital, SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn (May 20)
-Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn (May 20)
-Coney Island Hospital, Brooklyn (May 17)
-VA Medical Center of Brooklyn (May 15)
-Lincoln Medical Center, Bronx (May 13)
-Richmond University Medical Center, Staten Island (May 12)
-Metropolitan Hospital Harlem (May 9)
-Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn (May 6),
-North Central Bronx Hospital (May 3),
- VA Medical Center New York, Manhattan (May 3)
-University Hospital, SUNY Downstate, Brooklyn (April 29),
-Kings County Hospital, Brooklyn (April 29)
-Bellevue Hospital, Manhattan (April 20),
-and more to health service organizations including: New York Homeless mobile feeding unit, Doctors without Borders, New York Disaster Interfaith Services, CAMBA, Homeless Street Outreach & Services with Bowery Mission, Emergency Shelter Network, New York Health Care Home Care Services, Housing Works' COVID-19 Homeless Shelter Workers, and more.
In the South Florida area, Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes brought PPE to:
-Jackson Memorial (Sept. 22)
-Larkin Palm Springs (Sept. 22)
-Westchester Hospital (Sept. 21)
-West Gables Hospital (Sept. 21)
-99 Assisted Living Facilities
-Camellus House and various organizations for vulnerable communities
-Florida Medical Center (Sept. 21)
-City of Hialeah Fire Dept. (Sept. 19)
-North Shore Hospital (Sept. 19) morning and night shifts
-Hialeah Hospital (Sept. 18)
-Waterford Nursing Home (Sept. 18)
-United Home Health Care aides (Sept. 18)
-Virginia Springs PD (Sept. 17)
-Palmetto Care Rehab (Sept. 17)
-West Gables Hospital (Sept. 17) morning and night shifts
-Westchester Hospital (Sept. 17) morning and night shifts
-Larkin Palm Springs Hospital (Sept. 16)
-Palmetto General Hospital (Sept. 16)
-Coral Gables Hospital (Sept. 15)
-Coral Gables Emergency Unit (Sept. 15)
-Hialeah Hospital (Sept. 14)
-Larkin Hospital South (Sept. 14)
-Epworth Retirement Village (Sept. 11)
-Hialeah Nursing Home (Sept. 11)
More than 2,000 workers from King's County Hospital and University Hospital of Brooklyn lined up in late May to pick up PPE from Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes. (Credit: Robert Ripps)
Doctors and nurses in New York City continue to tell us of shortages and fear retaliation if their name is revealed. One respiratory therapist told us in mid-July the face masks they were given were old, rotting and falling apart. A worker at another hospital where we recently brought PPE wrote, “I received a wonderful bag of PPE from your organization this morning and I just want to thank you!! I’ve been using the same face shield for weeks! And I re-use my face masks and I am truly grateful for your generosity. “
A Florida hospital worker told us, "PPE is EVERYTHING at a time like this! As healthcare professionals we should not be anxious fearing the inability to protect ourselves and our families while working hard to safely take care of ALL our families :(. Having an N95 mask makes me feel more comfortable knowing my Patient as well as myself are safe as we can be. We cannot practice social distancing (Pre/Post Surgery) but I have the appropriate PPE, the Patient has a mask, and I feel we're both participating in each others safety to the best of our abilities."
Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes' PPE kits of 3-ply surgical masks for community members (Credit: Robert Ripps)
We purchased: Surgical Masks, hundreds of thousands of KN95 masks, Face shields, Gowns, Hand Sanitizer & more
Received In-Kind donations :: DiVal Safety (Tyvex, Gloves, Goggles, Hand sanitizer, lab coats); Jeeves of Belgravia (trucking and delivery); Super Health Pharmacy (trucking, banners, PPE discounts), Moishe's Moving & Storage (loading, unloading and storage), Keep Breathing NYC (ear savers), NYU Grossman school (10,000 face shields); Shahzil Amin/WellBefore (masks, face shields) , Peter Gudaitis/NYDIS (hand sanitizers, masks, gowns) Georgia Jekabson (ear savers), Scott Karch (ear savers), Lovers of the Holy Cross of Nha Trang in Norwalk (children's masks), Denise Winn/Expo Solutions, Inc., and Andy Li/Watch Tower Supplies Inc. (masks)
Housing Works, a New York City-based non-profit fighting the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness, provided volunteer support and warehouse space, assembled kits for distribution, and donated labels, plastic bags, and communications staff and photography help.
Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes volunteers at Lincoln Hospital, where we handed out 30,000 items of PPE to hospital workers. (Credit: Keith Barraclough)
Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes is a project of Art Science Research Laboratory. There’s no time to wait to fundraise first in a crisis. So ASRL’s founder Rhonda Roland Shearer went ahead, borrowed money, and started buying hundreds of thousands of dollars of hard-to-find PPEs for our first responders and healthcare heroes. Now we must raise money to pay the bills.
Our experience: After Sept. 11, 2001, Rhonda sprung into action and started a similar program for Ground Zero first responders, supplying desperately needed PPEs for NYC city uniform services and raising millions of dollars from foundations. We are uniquely able to find and distribute PPEs and other supplies because of experience as the main WTC supply operation for city uniform services for the entire 9/11 recovery operation. Back in the first days of Ground Zero operations, my not-for-profit first operated out of the back of a truck to deliver respirators and other PPEs directly into first responders' hands, as widely documented in foundation and news reports.
WTC Ground Zero Relief was Art Science Research Laboratory’s emergency response project that provide PPE for uniform services (NYPD, FDNY, PAPD) at the nine month Ground Zero cleanup after 9/11.
Rhonda Roland Shearer, an artist, scholar and award-winning journalist, provided Charles King, Housing Works’ longtime director, with original funding and start-up space for Housing Works in 1990 in her art studio, and later started Housing Works Thrift Shop. Shearer is a philanthropist and director of Art Science Research Laboratory, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit that she co-founded with her late husband, Harvard professor and scientist, Stephen Jay Gould. Shearer borrowed nearly one million dollars to buy PPE's for 9/11 first responders who also did not have proper safety equipment. Through ASRL, a private family foundation, she later raised millions of dollars to pay the vendor bills for the WTC Ground Zero Relief Project. She is again using borrowed money to secure personal protective equipment for workers responding to the coronavirus pandemic in New York City. ASRL publishes numerous websites including the award-winning iMediaEthics media ethics news website, the NASA Astrobiology Magazine (now just an archive), and the art research website Tout Fait.com. The legendary philanthropist Paul Mellon gave approximately $2 million to originally fund ASRL.
Housing Works is a NYC-based non-profit whose mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services, and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain their efforts. Housing Works is on the front lines of the COVID-19 response efforts. They are currently serving low-income New Yorkers through their community healthcare clinics, housing programs, & integrated case management, and are currently operating an emergency shelter for homeless New Yorkers with COVID-19.
Volunteers, including founder Rhonda Roland Shearer, in the Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes van on the way to hand out PPE to public housing residents at Jackson Houses (Credit: Dominic Colacchio)
For more information or any questions, contact:
Questions, donations & corporate donations, contact: [email redacted], [phone redacted]
Media inquiries, contact [email redacted], [phone redacted]
Checks can be addressed to Art Science Research Laboratory and mailed to:
Art Science Research Laboratory 62 Greene St. 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10012
Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes handed out PPE to residents of River Park Towers, which was called in a New York Times article the "death towers" because of COVID cases. (Credit: Robert Ripps)