Ways to Help Your Local Healthcare Provider
As COVID-19 threatens to overwhelm the U.S. healthcare system, doctors, nurses, and other hospital personnel are bravely fighting the virus on the frontlines.
Many Americans are wondering how they can support medical workers during these trying times. Wonder no more—whether sewing or donating, here's how you can help right now.
Donate or help produce supplies, especially personal protective equipment (PPE)
Many hospitals are running dangerous short of personal protective equipment such as masks, gowns, and surgical gloves.
- If you have these supplies in your own home, consider donating to your local hospital.
- If you have the means to produce these supplies, consider retooling your current production line(s) to produce these necessary items.
- If you can sew, these best practices for sewing fabric masks will come in handy as you embark on your mask-sewing journey.
- Donate PPE is aggregating donations needed by hospitals in several states. It provides both the PPE that the medical facility is requesting and facilities’ specific drop-off procedures.
- PPE Link is a volunteer-run site set up by scientists, engineers and medical professionals across the U.S. It's seeking donations through a form on its website. Volunteers will match donors and requests based on location, supplies and delivery/pickup capability, then connect them to coordinate a transfer.
Donate PPE to specific hospitals or organizations providing PPE to healthcare workers
- Support international healthcare workers’ access to PPE by donating to Relief International. The organization - which operates in 16 countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, and Asia - is providing medical protective gear for frontline healthcare workers.
- Donate to hospital networks’ fundraising campaigns for PPE purchases. Providence St. Joseph Health, Seattle Children’s, and NYU/Bellevue emergency room providers are among the healthcare systems seeking PPE purchase support. For more providers seeking help obtaining PPE, refer to The Association of American Universities’ updated list of universities seeking donations.
- Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts is collecting PPE donations 24/7 at the main entrances of Cambridge, Everett, and Somerville Hospitals.
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is seeking PPE donations on its website.
Donate PPE to your home state or hard-hit states
- Washington state - the original epicenter of COVID-19 in the U.S. - is collecting PPE on its website. It is focused on bulk donations, and advises individuals with smaller donations to contact their local emergency management agencies.
- Oregon is collecting PPE through the state’s government website. Donations can be dropped off in person or sent by mail. They will be inspected, inventoried and distributed statewide to medical professionals working with COVID-19 patients.
- In New York City, contact the New York City Economic Development Commission (NYC EDC), which is seeking businesses with the abilities to source and/or make PPE to support the City’s COVID-19 response work.
- In New York state, the New York state government is seeking to partner with companies that can provide PPE. Companies with PPE on hand or the ability to produce PPE should email COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov.
- The County of Santa Clara Health System is accepting donations at its office in San Jose, California. Donations will be distributed to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Hospital & Clinics, O'Connor Hospital, St Louise Regional Hospital, Santa County County Public Health Department, and other affiliated agencies.
- San Mateo County is seeking donations on its website to help local healthcare providers and healthcare facilities in California.
Contribute to meals for medical workers
- Off Their Plate supports healthcare workers by providing meals made by local restaurants. This has the dual benefit of employing restaurant workers and providing healthy, nutritious, comforting meals to hospital workers. This novel nonprofit is currently active in Boston, and looking to expand to San Francisco, New York, and Baltimore. Donate to its PayPal pool or email email@example.com if you’d like to help the organization directly
- Slice Out Hunger, which normally produces pizza-related events to support American hunger relief efforts, is currently fundraising for Pandemic Pizza, a campaign to provide pizza to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. As with Off Their Plate, Slice Out Hunger’s Pizza vs Pandemic campaign both puts restaurant workers at independent pizzerias back to work and feeds healthcare workers as they care for sick patients.
— Lorelei Yang
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto / Freer Law)
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