PPE for New England's Covid-19 Frontlines

A week ago, after speaking with an ER doctor friend, we started a group out of Providence RI to sew simple masks for a first layer of protection against Covid-19. The goal was to fill a gap in hospitals for patients and healthcare workers who are quickly running out of any kind of mask. Over 100 volunteers joined to help in the production.

As we met more healthcare workers through this process the vastness of the protection problem became clear. Frontliners in New England told us that they have been reusing the same masks and in some cases asked to not wear masks at all to save PPE for an impending surge of Coronavirus patients. This puts their health, and the rest of society’s, at grave risk. And while the cloth masks that we are still producing can help, more protective forms of PPE urgently need to be sourced and distributed. 

To escalate our contribution, we used Instagram and Facebook to raise over $4500. We’ve used the bulk of this money to order KN95 masks from a distributor in China to donate to healthcare workers. As it has been challenging sourcing reliable PPEs from China, a network of acupuncturists both local and abroad helped us locate a trustworthy distributor. The KN95 mask is a Chinese equivalent of the N95 mask used by healthcare workers here in the states. They are .2% less effective than the N95 but the doctors we have talked to are very enthusiastic about receiving them. 

With what began as a simple sewing exercise now finding itself with a larger network of solutions, we are stepping up our fundraising through this gofundme to immediately purchase more essential PPE for healthcare workers. Our focus is to contribute to about a dozen facilities in New England and New York, but we have also been forging connections with healthcare providers in other states. Hospital procurement processes have proven to be convoluted and lack access to some of the supply chains we have been able to tap into. 
The PPE we’ll be purchasing includes, for example, KN95 face masks and face shields. Pneuhaus, a Providence, RI-based design and fabrication collective, will be producing shields of their own design for $2 to $3 each — just enough to cover costs. We are also looking at a local manufacturer who has retooled their factory to make PPE garments and working to source domestically where possible. We are continuing to secure other connections with trustworthy distributors in China for surgical masks and KN95s. 

We would like to hope that the Feds will come through to provide the PPE our frontline healthcare workers so urgently require. If they do, and we as a community no longer need to fill this role, we will allocate the remaining funds we raise to other organizations working to support people affected by Covid-19.

Meanwhile, all indications point toward a surge of East Coast Covid-19 cases coming in the next few weeks that may overwhelm our hospitals. Please give now to support our healthcare frontliners.

Donations (375)

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  • Adrian Greenbaum
    • $20 
    • 3 yrs
  • Mariam Fayek
    • $30 
    • 3 yrs
  • Melissa Brown
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $500 
    • 3 yrs
  • Dave Krugman
    • $420 
    • 3 yrs
See all

Fundraising team (4)

Jungil Hong
Providence, RI
PPE for New Englands Covid-19 Front Lines
Brian Chippendale
Team member
Matthew Muller
Team member

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