Non-Profits Campaign to Provide Masks for NYC Health Workers

March 28, 2020 Updated: March 28, 2020

As the COVID-19 outbreak surges in New York city, non-profits and citizens around the country have come forward to collect and supply personal protection equipment for the city’s health care workers.

The country witnessed 402 outbreak-related deaths on Friday, with 84 of them from New York City alone. Out of the total 1,841 deaths in the country, 517 have come from the city.

While the nation fights the CCP virus pandemic, the most at risk daily are health care workers.

On Friday, The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) said in a statement that there is a need for more PPE (personal protective equipment) and their nurses have limited access to it.

Nurses at the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx alleged in the press release that they are being asked to reuse N95 masks for an entire week.

A group of citizens has started a popular campaign on GoFundMe raising money for N95 masks for New York City health workers. Since March 19, it has been able to raise over $410,000 and has donated masks to hospitals at the forefront of fighting COVID-19, including the Bellevue and Elmhurst hospitals that recently saw a lot of fatal cases.

“7,200 masks have arrived! Our team is spending all day dropping them off to the hospitals that have been hit the hardest Montefiore New Rochelle, Elmhurst, Mt Sinai, NYP & NYU,” said Million Masks founder Ben Wei in a message on Twitter on Tuesday.

Project C.U.R.E., an international charity that supplies life-saving medical supplies and equipment to clinics and hospitals in the under-resourced world, started supporting local health care systems in the United States in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“While Project C.U.R.E.’s mission is to strengthen health systems in under-resourced countries, our first priority is to our own country,” the organization’s CEO and President said in a statement.

The organization is conducting PPE drives across many cities and is most actively supporting hospitals near its distribution centers in Denver, Cheyenne, Chicago (metro area), Munster, Nashville, Houston (metro area), Phoenix (metro area), Philadelphia, and Wilmington.

Micah McDonough, the Director of Marketing and Communications for the organization, told The Epoch Times over the phone that the organization is willing to support hospitals in NYC and those in need can request supplies and equipment if they are facing an imminent shortage by filling out a form online.

Another national charity raising donations and resources around the country and sending them to outbreak hotbeds is the CDC Foundation.

Amy Tolchinsky, the foundation’s spokesperson, told The Epoch Times in an email that the organization activated its emergency relief fund in late January.

“Until a few weeks ago, the donations and commitments that had been received had already been committed to address identified needs,” said Tolchinsky.

The organization has been providing support to health departments around the country including the pandemic hotbeds, New York, California, and Washington state.

The support includes, among other things, funding for the purchase of PPEs. “Currently, the CDC Foundation team is having discussions with CDC and public health departments about priority needs and deploying funds,” said Tolchinsky.

As the United States surpassed Italy this week to become the country with the most coronavirus cases outside of China, with more than 115,000 known cases as of Saturday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins, charities have also started to build contingencies for their partner organizations.

Non-profit service providers in New York City have come together and created a fund called the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund that’s exclusively providing funding, among other things, for PPEs to charities working with communities during the pandemic.

“Many nonprofits around the city provide essential services such as food and medical care to vulnerable populations, such as homebound older adults, homeless, and people with disabilities,” Lorie Slutsky, the President of the New York Community Trust, told The Epoch Times in a statement.

“In order to continue to do so, many are unexpectedly having to purchase protective gear so staff and clients do not become infected. That is why that has been included among the possible uses of the grants and loans,” said Slutsky.

CNN Newswire contributed to this report.

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