Hello supporters of DonatePPE.org!
The world has been fighting COVID over six months now, and support for our projects has been stronger than ever! Whether it be through your donations to our PPE projects, your sharing our message and mission with friends and family, or your help in fighting the spread of COVID through social distancing and mask-donning, our ability to send much-needed PPE to people fending off the pandemic is thanks to you. As we’re near the half-year mark of the 2020 pandemic, we want to provide an update on what we’ve been up to!
With donations to our GoFundMe, we’ve purchased and shipped medical masks, gloves, isolation gowns, hair covers and shoe covers to hospitals, outpatient clinics, food banks, and homeless shelters, in areas wrestling increasing number of COVID cases across nearly every state in the country, including the harder-to-reach Hawaii and Alaska. We’ve secured competitive prices on thousands of gloves and gallons of hand sanitizer and have expanded shipments to encompass more than healthcare facilities, including schools juggling reopening classrooms with ensuring the safety of young students in states like Massachusetts, Florida, Utah, Missouri, and Louisiana. Our projects have garnered the backing of UPS, who have graciously offered affordable shipping prices to send PPE like the medical masks sourced by ProperCloth, cloth masks stitched by MasQd, and hand sanitizers bottled by Eminence Organics to healthcare facilities in states where PPE shortages were brought to our attention. In short, we’ve done our best to make distribution across the entire country as cost-efficient as possible, and to put every dollar donated to DonatePPE.org to good use.
Response to our GoFundMe page was an absolute success—over $91,000 was raised with our phase 2 fundraising, which put donations collected since the start of DonatePPE.org at over $150,000, and the overwhelming unity shown by our supporters through these unprecedented times has grabbed the attention of so many others; every day, new visitors knock on our figurative door, visit our social media and reach out to give and receive aid. As such, we dog-eared the Healthcare Heroes Fund page as a testament of the good you’ve helped achieve during the most trying months of COVID, and kicked off a new GoFundMe page- the DonatePPE.org COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment Fund- to capture the energy of all the new supporters of DonatePPE.org!
Our mission doesn’t stop at the shore: with the help of you, our donors, and our friends in manufacturing, we’ve made big strides in some international PPE shipments, as part of our outreach to other countries. Led by co-founder Deyu Kong, these international projects are DonatePPE.org’s response to PPE shortages faced by healthcare systems in other countries that are also battling COVID’s spread among high-risk populations.
We began by shipping small batches of face shields built by the Ford Motor Company to CoRSU Rehabilitation Hospital in Uganda, a non-profit non-government organization primarily focused on orthopaedic and plastic/reconstructive surgery for children and young adults with physical impairments, and the necessary rehabilitative care that follows these procedures. Coordinators at CoRSU ensured face shields were shared with other hospitals in the area: when we heard that even a few face shields made a huge impact for the employees at the neighboring CURE hospital, Mulago National Referral Hospital, and Entebbe Referral Hospital, the extension of aid to international healthcare groups and nonprofit counterparts became part of the DonatePPE.org mission.
Since the successful shipment to Uganda, we’ve continued to reach out to hospitals abroad, as part of a project with Ford aimed at providing 20,000 face shields to overseas healthcare workers and humanitarian organizations. Among these are Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana, the third largest hospital in Africa; Chitipa District Hospital in Malawi, a secondary-level facility that has seen its own surges in COVID cases; MoH Mbita Sub County Hospital in Kenya; and the Nyanga District Hospital in Zimbabwe. More equipment is en route to the FAIRE Garden Foundation, a nonprofit based in Haiti involved in aid projects like clean water access, disaster-resistant housing and education that also works with medical professionals.
Let’s be frank: there have been delays in reopening the economy, and many setbacks in containing COVID spread. There is no clear end to the pandemic in sight. But so long as there is need for PPE, and so long as there are people like you– our readers, donors, volunteers and partners—backing our mission, we will continue to serve, whether it be for the doctors and nurses, shelter workers or teachers, here and abroad.