By contributing to this campaign, you’ll be ensuring that hand sanitizer and other essential pandemic response items are delivered directly into the hands of those in need within Portland and surrounding communities. This service, from production to distribution, is being performed by a collaboration of local volunteer organizations (Rosehip Medic Collective and Portland Action Medics, with advisement and support from PopMob). Our team is dedicated to providing time and labor free of charge in order to help stop the spread of COVID in our community; we only need your support to ensure our supply lines keep flowing!
In March, our team of medics – under the oversight of a professional chemist – developed a recipe for hand sanitizer meeting both CDC and WHO standards while utilizing the available ingredients at the height of product and shipment shortages.
Between March 13th and June 20th, our team produced over 20,000 individual-sized bottles of hand sanitizer! Each of those bottles was given without charge to houseless folks, those in transitional housing, people accessing food banks and temporary shelters, people working service-sector jobs, and others in need. Distribution was made possible through our ongoing relationships with direct service organizations, nonprofits, and mutual aid networks.
In addition to hand sanitizer, the project has utilized highly concentrated, restaurant-grade cleaner/disinfectant to produce over 150 gallons of Lysol, which has been provided in spray bottles to over 600 households and community members.
By May, our organization had become a hub for pandemic assistance and received numerous donations of supplies. Seeking to distribute these various items to the community in as quick and safe a manner as possible, we hosted a free store and welcomed all to attend. While maintaining health precautions, the free store gave away hard-to-find and hard-to-afford items such as toilet paper, masks, paper towels, bleach, first aid supplies and OTC medications, baby supplies, and unlimited quantities of hand sanitizer and Lysol. Approximately 40 individuals attended, supplying over 100 people with these items.
More recently – as our team continues to identify community needs and innovate responses – the project started an assembly line to create disposable masks using the "blue shop towel" method. These masks have been provided in pairs to over 300 individuals so far and production continues.
As our services diversified and our capacity expanded, we found ourselves in need of a larger space. Happily, we were able to identify a location and have recently managed to relocate, securing a more appropriate facility through the end of August. With our new home set-up and our team eager as ever, we’re now looking ahead at what the summer pandemic response will require of us. We know that the coming months won’t be easy; for many the pandemic is as present a threat now as it was when we began and, with counties re-opening, we anticipate the number of those impacted will only grow.
Our community still needs us and we still need you.
With $10,000 in funding, we anticipate being able to provide hand sanitizer, Lysol, masks, face shields and other pandemic-related items to those in need in the Portland area and surrounding areas over the summer. In the event that we receive contributions in excess of this amount, all funds will be used for ongoing community aid projects of our current or a similar nature (updates will be provided). Should we fall short of our goal, we’ll continue in our work for as long as possible, assisting every person we’re able to.
If the pandemic has made one thing clear, it’s how deeply bound our fates are to one another regardless of who we might be. It’s a crisis of community which requires community action to meet it – our team is ready to step up to this challenge, but we can’t do it without you, our friends and donors. We ask that you please give today in the assurance that every penny will help keep our city safe.
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- Timothy Holtman
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