NEWS Nonprofits collaborate to donate N95 masks and other PPE

Houston Habitat for Humanity, Houston Community ToolBank, Houston Responds and 13 other nonprofits have collected and distributed over 19,700 items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to area hospitals.

Since 2015, the Houston Community ToolBank has been working with nonprofits all across the region to help with community projects and events, lending out tools to organizations working on projects of all sizes. As a hub of the nonprofit community, the ToolBank saw an opportunity and reached out to over 400 area nonprofits to ask for donations of PPE to be disbursed to area hospitals.

“As members of a community that is frequently on the front lines of disaster relief efforts, we knew that our partners keep numerous PPE items on hand,” Erika Hornsey, executive director of the ToolBank explained. “Once we understood how bad the situation at local hospitals was, we knew we had to try to do something.”

Last Saturday, the collection efforts began with posts on Facebook and emails to the ToolBank’s members. Soon, other nonprofits became involved. Allison Hay from Houston Habitat for Humanity helped to spread the world amongst the Harvey focused Long Term Recovery Committee and the Houston Housing Working Group. Houston Responds, a nonprofit that oversees coalitions of churches usually working on natural disaster response and recovery, organized drivers to pick up and deliver collected items. The ToolBank’s After Hours container, a modified shipping container with 4 rooms and smart locks, allowed items to be dropped off and picked up with no human contact between drivers.

Within 72 hours, over 19,700 PPE items were collected and distributed to 13 area hospitals and clinics. The number of items collected and distributed are as follows as of today: 13,334 N95 masks, 5,635 eye protectors, 571 Tyvek suits, 48 boot covers and 12 face shields.

About Houston Community ToolBank
The Houston Community ToolBank serves community-based organizations by providing tools, equipment & expertise to empower their most ambitious goals. Since opening our doors in late 2014, the ToolBank has consistently increased our member organizations’ capacity to make a difference.

About Houston Habitat for Humanity
Since 1987, individuals, businesses and groups in our community have joined Houston Habitat for Humanity to build or improve a place people call home. Through shelter, Houston Habitat for Humanity empowers people to build a better future for themselves and their families by completing financial and home maintenance training, building homes alongside volunteers, and by purchasing their homes with an affordable mortgage.

About Houston Responds
Houston Responds unites, empowers and mobilizes churches across Greater Houston to expedite long-term recovery and respond to future disasters. Since their founding post-Hurricane Harvey, Houston Responds has launched and supported 12+ coalitions of local churches, each with 20+ churches in their network.


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