Becky Vieira, a blogger with a substantial amount of following in Social Media platforms, decided to go beyond local communities to help healthcare workers and doctors with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
This idea to help came to her mind after she visited her son’s preschool. She couldn’t sit back after she learned that parents who are also doctors or healthcare workers involved in COVID-19 treatments were in dire need of masks and other protective gear.
Starting with Instagram, she requested donations of PPE from family and friends. Later, she also channeled her requests into her network of mom bloggers who were also moved by the cause. But this is not the end of it. Within a few days, engineers, marketing agencies, and designers offered their services pro bono for this cause. Later, her website overflowed with great responses and requests encompassing an international clientele.
The website goes by the name Masks for Heroes, and it has been an effective initiative since the beginning. Any medical facility in need of PPE can send their requests through this website, which is then verified before being listed. After this, volunteers deliver these requests according to drop-off instructions.
The website maintains optimum clarity and transparency for the donors as well. There is a map provided on the website through which donors can keep track of their donations. They can also detect the need, and supply their donations accordingly. More than 200 requests from different medical facilities are listed on the website.
Becky Vieira also clarifies in her statement that this initiative is not profit-driven. The main purpose is not to derive monetary benefits, but simply to help out healthcare workers in the face of this pandemic.
Vieira is not alone in this journey. Many people have stepped up for this cause. Clothing manufacturer, Kurdistan Godani in Virginia, is using all her cloth fabrics to sew up hundreds of masks. She has sewn 300, delivered 100, and plans on making many more. Other individuals like Adrienn Braun Bridal from New Jersey are also helping out. Adrienn makes more than a hundred masks per day. She has already donated 550 and has a personal target of sending 2000 masks. Other donors such as Free People from Urban Outfitters have joined in as well.
Anyone with some time to spare is getting involved with this initiative, which is really generating hope and awareness across the country. There are some debates regarding the effectiveness of homemade masks and face shields, but Vieira rightly points out that for some healthcare workers this is the only protection available. Moreover, doctors are wearing single-use masks for a week at a stretch. At least these washable masks can be used intermittently.
When lives depend on supplies of PPE, this has truly proved to be effective for the collective fight against COVID-19.