Combat COVID-19 where you live: Taking local to the next level
Updated: Jul 8
COVID-19 outbreaks are now on the downswing in many countries - but the virus is raging again in the U.S., with more than 50,000 new cases diagnosed per day. And we know that face masks and face shields can help prevent the virus spread. So we've decided to ask you to help us fight this battle from your homes.
In keeping with our solving-problems-on-the-ground-approach, Field Ready has started a grant program to help communities fight off COVID-19 with locally made face masks and face shields. Made and delivered by you, to the people who need it most right in the communities where you live.
Since early spring, Field Ready and our partners have helped people fight the spread of COVID-19 by producing and distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) in more than 20 countries, including Bangladesh, Fiji, Kenya, Iraq, Nepal, the Philippines, Samoa and the U.S. We’ve made and distributed tens of thousands of locally made face shields, masks, privacy curtains and handwashing aids around the globe during this pandemic (read about some of our efforts here, here and here) to help prevent COVID-19 infection – and we continue to do so every day.
Our efforts in the U.S. initially focused on getting PPE to frontline workers. In April, we partnered with COVID19 Shields (read about it here) to manufacture and distribute free face shields in the U.S. to those who otherwise couldn’t afford them. In Chicago, we expanded that partnership to include JoinIn Chicago and donated and distributed 1,000 face shields to safety-net hospital workers (read about it here) who were in desperate need to protect themselves and patients from the virus.
Along with COVID19 Shields, Field Ready also manufactured and distributed 2,500 face shields to staff members at hospitals in Tuba City, Ariz. and Zuni, N.M. that serve the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi nations (read about it here). The Navajo Nation is particularly hard hit by the virus, with the country's highest per capita rate of COVID-19 infection. We’ve also donated 1,500 face shields to organizations, hospitals, nursing homes and healthcare facilities that serve homeless, indigent and uninsured people in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Gardena, Mission Hills, Pasadena, Porterville, Riverside and Santa Ana, Calif; New York City; Portland, Ore. and Charlotte, N.C.
All of these facilities and their employees are starved for PPE. "In order to keep our facility running without laying anyone off, our doctor has kept us all on part time even as his business decreased," said a staffer at ChapCare in Pasadena, which operates a medical clinic and research site. "We have struggles with getting basic PPE - even small gloves are sacred. Any help is appreciated."
Now we’re expanding our efforts to help you help your community. We’ve posted DIY instructions and videos on our blog so you can make face masks (here) and face shields (here) recently. If you need help determining who needs PPE, how much is needed and the best methods of making and distributing the finished products, please see the helpful chart at the bottom of this page.
But we know that not everyone can afford to volunteer to make face masks and shields – and hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. can’t afford PPE or access it easily. So we’re tackling this two different ways:
Through our partnership with JoinIn Chicago. We’re piloting a program to help people set up maker networks in their communities to provide PPE for the needy while also supplying corporations and organizations with masks or shields and making a small stipend.
Through our grant program. If you or your organization require technical or financial support to help get PPE out to those in need in your community, please fill out this application for consideration under our grant program.
Your help is needed to help stem COVID-19's spread in your community. If you wish to donate to this effort, please click here. For more information about the pilot maker network program, please click here. For any other questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Because as with every crisis, we will get through this together.