#GiveThemPPE Support Fund: Masks for Frontliners

West Coast and Midwest hospitals are running out of supplies for medical teams at all levels -- Doctors, Nurses, EMS, Medical Transport, Pharmacists, Emergency Dentists. Nurses have already been asked to re-use their masks up to 5 times, when normally they would be discarded for each patient interaction.

Many U.S. healthcare workers don’t have any protection at all. We need to fix this now.

In Italy, nearly 1 in every 10 cases are healthcare workers. In Spain, about 12 percent of their entire healthcare force is infected. These countries have also seen cases and deaths skyrocket.

Our friends and family members who work in West Coast and Midwest hospitals have told us some nurses are already re-using their masks or working without proper equipment -- because there isn’t enough masks, gowns, or gloves for safe patient care.

One of our family members is a nurse who lives with two people over 80 years old. If she gets sick, she can’t go home, or she risks their lives. Another family member is a nurse with 2 kids under 5. If she gets sick, she risks her family’s health.

American healthcare workers need to be protected. We raising funds to procure masks and Personal Protective Equipment for healthcare workers.


We have started this fundraising campaign to secure masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to help healthcare workers on the frontlines, and those healthcare workers being overlooked.

As Americans, we can’t just sit on the sidelines. These are the hours of our greatest need, and in those hours we must stand up together. 

We are focusing on West Coast and Midwest medical staff. Rather than spread ourselves thin, we are coordinating with teams in other areas, and concentrating our efforts on these regions.

A separate team who inspired this fund -- @AMillionMasks  is focused on New York City. Please also support them and NYC as just one hospital in the city is using 40,000 masks per day.


We’ve connected with doctors, state officials, hospital administrators, and volunteers... and the most pressing need is masks. After that, it’s gowns, nitrile gloves, face shields, and swabs.

*N95 or equivalents (FFP2, KN95)
*Surgical Masks (ASTM-3, ASTM-2, ASTM-1)
*Isolation Gowns
*Nitrile Gloves
*Face Shields


We are able to secure large amounts of N95 Respirators, KN95 Respirators, surgical masks, and other PPE from certified PPE manufacturers to be shipped to the West Coast and Midwest.

46380630_1585007435343915_r.jpegPhoto: one of our manufacturing partners

How We Got These Connections?

We have been importing FDA-registered knee compression sleeves for several years, and our strong relationships with our manufacturers has given us access to direct supply in China. When the U.S. mask shortage ramped up in early-March, we asked our manufacturer for help. Fortunately, we found out they already are a key producer for China’s disposable hazmat suits, and their partners produce masks, gowns, and other PPE. 


These manufacturers are FDA registered and certified for sale in European countries, and vetted by our on-the-ground relationships. We have also done due diligence in verifying FDA registration and CE certification. Our suppliers have landed thousands of PPE supplies in the U.S. in recent weeks.

All donations go directly to purchase and deliver N95, surgical masks, and PPE for frontline healthcare workers in hospitals, medical support teams, and staff directly treating COVID-19 patients. We already have doctors and nurses waiting for these masks at major hospitals in Los Angeles, Bay Area, and St. Louis. 


Our goal is to supply masks and other PPE through the duration of the coronavirus crisis. There are tens of thousands of secondary healthcare workers whom we also look to support who are getting no supplies from government sources. The entire chain is at risk.

We take ZERO markup in the purchase and donation of these masks for the purpose of this fund.


When PPE supplies are delivered, we will announce on social media channels, so everyone can stay updated on where the donations are going.


In late January, Nikki Smith’s sister, a radiologist in Thailand, messaged her for masks. “Anything you got.” A day later, a friend in Malaysia asked her for another 100,000 masks. By early February, it was clear that masks in Southeast Asia were drying up at an alarming rate, as countries started banning exports of N95 masks. 

By mid-February, supplies in Latin America and South America had dried up, as those countries had exported their stockpiles to China. 

By mid-March, we heard from Shawn Smith’s aunt, a Bay Area nurse who told us about nurses needing to re-use their N95s, and store them in brown bags for re-use. We’ve heard from others who don’t have enough PPE to feel safe. We’ve heard from friends listening in to EMS calls where the paramedics fear is palpable in their voice. 

All along we’ve been sourcing masks wherever we can to get them in the hands of our family, friends, and frontline health workers. Our sourcing has included South America, Latin America, and Asia.

Because we have strong relationships with our manufacturers on the ground in China, as well as other relationships in Taiwan and Malaysia, we have unique access to vetted and certified PPE supplies. 

We have been importing medical-grade knee compression sleeves for years, and our strong relationships with our manufacturers has given us access to direct supply in China. When the mask shortage ramped up two weeks ago, we asked our manufacturer for help. Fortunately, we found out they already are a key producer for China’s disposable hazmat suits, and their partners have capacity for masks, gowns, and other items. 

These manufacturers are FDA registered and certified for sale in European countries, and vetted by our on-the-ground relationships. We have also done due diligence in verifying FDA registration and CE certification. Our suppliers have landed thousands of PPE supplies in the U.S. in recent weeks.


Nikki Smith is a health entrepreneur, creator of companies in San Francisco and Los Angeles. She is a former entrepreneur-in-residence with Not For Sale, a non-profit organization that builds startups, such as REBBL and Dignita Restaurants, to fight human trafficking. She is also the co-founder of LiftandRise.com, a physical health and wellness store for active people. She is a masters graduate from Syracuse. Her immediate family includes 3 doctors and 1 nurse in Bangkok, Thailand.

Shawn Smith is co-founder with Nikki Smith across all ventures -- including LiftandRise.com, and also a former entrepreneur-in-residence with Not For Sale. Shawn is a former journalist in Washington, D.C. and Ann Arbor, Michigan. He worked as a hospital pharmacy technician in his 20s, and has several family members working on the frontlines against COVID-19. 

Kyle Smith is a seasoned data specialist, recently holding high level clearance with the Department of Justice. As a tech entrepreneur, he’s founded ecommerce and digital marketing companies. He is passionate about helping support frontline workers, as many members of his family are fighting the virus at this time.

Yury Smith is Operations Director for a D.C.-based health startup for patients with autoimmune disease. She is native Colombian, and has helped connect global supply chain between Asia and South America to move PPE to North America.


What does Success Look Like?

Helping frontline and secondary healthcare workers from becoming infected. The more that we can protect them, the better chances they can help more people during this pandemic. If they get sick, there’s a chance they will need to be pulled off duty, or forced to work while infected.

Our primary goal is to get as many FDA-approved PPE supplies as possible into the hands of healthcare workers. Many hospitals in the middle of the country are just now starting to see the virus come to their doorstep. Many of them are under-supplied or without adequate supplies. The situation is worse on the West Coast.

How Will Funds Be Used?

100% of the funds will be used to facilitate the purchase and delivery of masks and other Personal Protective Equipment for frontline healthcare workers on the West Coast and Midwest. Our entire team is investing its time, including the resources of our businesses and staffs to support this endeavor. 

All PPE purchased through this campaign is purchased at manufacturing cost, and delivered to those in need. No money from this campaign will be used to financially compensate any team member for this campaign.

Why West Coast and Midwest?

Washington State has the second most deaths, followed by California. New York has the most cases and deaths from the Coronavirus. Then comes Michigan and Illinois. There is already an amazing group @AMillionMasks  who is focused on NYC, and inspired this campaign. Please also support this campaign.

Also, our teams and connections are primarily on the West Coast and Midwest, so we have closer relationships and more access to directly assist in these areas.

What is Your Current Most Pressing Need?

Funding - We have access to hundreds of thousands N95/KN95 masks ready to be shipped, and more in production. The inventory is being claimed every day by teams from every infected country. More funding and faster funding means we can get more of the supplies needed for American healthcare workers.

We can get inventory shipped out daily when funds become available.

Can Hospitals & Governments Order Masks Directly?

Yes. Many governments, tasks forces, and hospitals are all trying to figure out their options -- from managing the resources they have, to getting new stock from national and state stockpiles, to contracting new supply. What’s happened is many teams are now competing against one another for pricing and supply. This is part of the reason for extreme shortages. We are in contact with governments, hospitals, and individual healthcare providers for direct purchases outside of this fundraiser.

How Is This Different Than Other COVID-19 Efforts?

Your donation to GiveThemPPE will go directly support acquisition of masks and other PPE for West Coast and Midwest healthcare teams. Our campaign is specifically targeted for these needs. 

How Are You Procuring Masks

Through our direct relationships with manufacturers we’ve worked with, we have access to certified masks and other PPE. We are also connecting with other teams with vetted and certified supply to connect with government agencies and healthcare teams. 

How Much Are the Masks?

This is an important question. Pricing depends on order volume, shipping rate, demand, and cost of materials. Pricing is updated daily depending on these factors. We have pricing comparisons from our manufacturers and others throughout China, Latin America, and South America. Our pricing comparisons were made with both FDA-registered and non-FDA-registered manufacturers to best understand the true cost of certified PPE.

How Are You Distributing the Masks?

We ship directly to recipients. We have a database of teams in need, what their needs are, and also distribution hubs who can direct new supplies.

How To Request Masks?

If you are a healthcare professional at a West Coast or Midwest Hospital that is currently treating COVID-19 patients, and you are short on PPE, fill out this form: https://forms.gle/Xje1iK1fw1GVe55T9 

Follow and Share

Twitter: @GiveThemPPE 
Instagram: @GiveThemPPE 
Hashtag: #GiveThemPPE

Donations ()

  • Gail Berardino 
    • $25 
    • 1 d
  • David Duran 
    • $100 
    • 7 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $15 
    • 7 d
  • Michael Disch 
    • $50 
    • 9 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 10 d
See all

Fundraising team: Heal Team 6 (4)

Shawn Smith 
Raised $1,825 from 6 donations
Santa Monica, CA
Kyle Smith 
Team member
Raised $200 from 2 donations
Yury Smith 
Team member
Raised $200 from 2 donations
Nikki Smith 
Team member
  • #1 fundraising platform

    People have raised more money on GoFundMe than anywhere else. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case that something isn’t right, we will refund your donation. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more