Giving dignity for loved ones

One of the most heartbreaking parts of the COVID-19 crisis is that many people are dying alone. Their family members are losing their chance to say goodbye to loved ones because hospitals aren’t allowing visitors due to the crisis. There is story after story of family members calling to hospital staff in an effort to speak to their sick family members and they don’t always get through in time.

On March 27th, Sara Rodell  received a text from a friend trying to get tablets to the New York Nurses Union for this exact reason. Hospital staff had begun to use their personal devices to give family members a chance to say goodbye to critically ill patients. But personal devices of staff members aren’t enough, not everyone has a smartphone - and this shouldn’t be the way people lose their last moments with loved ones.

That’s how we began the work of finding smart devices and getting them in the hands of hospital workers to connect families.  

Everyone deserves the dignity to say goodbye. And surviving family members need that goodbye moment to hold onto.  

It’s a big problem, and it’s getting bigger. 

40 hospitals in the New York area have already requested devices from us and we’re in the process of securing devices for them. We’ve seen 3,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the US (as of March 31, 2020) and the number keeps on rising.  This crisis isn’t over and there are 6,000 hospitals in the United States that could use the help.

We are raising $1,000,000 in partnership with our fiscal sponsor, The Giving Back Fund, to purchase 10,000 tablets to deliver to the hospitals and nursing homes most in need. These tablets will have Zoom, Messenger, WhatsApp and Skype installed to make it easier for patients and their loved ones to connect directly. 

Here's how it works: 

1. Donated devices are shipped to Loop & Tie’s distribution centers. 
2. We match devices with hospitals and hospice centers in need. 
3. Donated devices are shipped out to eligible hospital programs.
4. Family members get a chance to say goodbye.

100% of donations will be used to purchase and ship devices.

Thank you in advance for your generous donation.

With love and support, 

Sara Rodell
Benish Shah
Anjali Kumar
Christina Wallace
Kristina Libby
Greg Wong
Raj Suri
Stacy Rademacher
Joanne Gould Kuntz MD
Margaret Stewart
Eileen Toback, NY Professional Nurses Union (NYPNU)
Wendy R Anderson
Katie Stanton

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WAIT - I HAVE QUESTIONS. We get it. Here are our answers.

Who is behind this effort?
COVID Tech Connect  (a group of women  brought together by Sara Rodell and the team at Presto) are working with manufacturers who want to donate wifi-enabled smart devices and ensuring the devices are getting to hospitals in need.  

How do you decide which hospital gets the devices?
Hospitals and hospice programs must apply to the program to request devices. The need is high and we are prioritizing public hospitals based on: (1) first come first served, (2) the concentration of cases in city/state; (3) the number of units requested; and (4) whether the request source can be verified.  We are working with an independent consultant with years of experience in the healthcare industry to review submissions that meet the criteria. 

Wait, why wouldn’t patients have their own smart devices?
Many patients arrive through the ER and have left their phones at home. Others don’t have access to their phones because it is with personal belongings and the battery has died. Doctors and nurses don’t always have access to the patient’s personal belongings and even if they could access the smart device, they may not have the passcode.

Can I donate my personal device?
Right now we’re delivering batches of clean devices pre-loaded with the right software to the hospitals. Individual devices aren’t being collected to ensure that every device sent to the hospital is in good condition and is ready to go upon arrival. 

I’m a hospital worker and we need devices. 
Unfortunately, this pandemic knows no boundaries. If you’re a hospital and nursing home and want to connect, please complete our device request form  . Requests are reviewed on a rolling basis.  For more information, find us at CovidTechConnect .

Is my donation tax-deductible?
Yes. COVID Tech Connect is a fiscally-sponsored project at THE GIVING BACK FUND, INC., a nonprofit corporation with tax exemption status from the IRS under code 501c3.

Why did you pick this organization?
The Giving Back Fund is a reputable fiscal sponsor for philanthropic projects. Our team of volunteers is partnering directly with them to handle fundraising for this initiative. 

What happens to the tablets after the crisis passes?
Hospitals and nursing homes will be able to utilize the tablets for patient communication beyond the COVID-19 crisis. The devices will allow patients to stay in touch with their families throughout their care and recovery.

Donations ()

  • Justin Reagan 
    • $50 
    • 18 hrs
  • Andrea Kocerha 
    • $50 
    • 1 d
  • Josh Grabiec 
    • $10 
    • 1 d
  • Ginny Hillhouse 
    • $100 
    • 2 d
  • David Sarah Kathryn Erin hyde 
    • $250 
    • 2 d
See all

Organizer

Katie Jacobs Stanton 
Organizer
Los Altos, CA
The Giving Back Fund 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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