In Central Florida, PPE shortages have brought local Makers together even though we're all staying apart.
In times of crisis it’s admirable to see how many people are eager to step up and lend a hand. But with so many needs to fill for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), it can be difficult to know where to start, or what you can do to help fill the Central Florida PPE pipeline. Don't get overwhelmed! Everyone is capable of becoming a PPE hero. You just need the right tools and direction. Here are some tips on helping the cause.
Join an existing organization!
There are many organizations that have pulled together and are successfully optimizing their resources. The Maker Effect Foundation and Orlando Face Mask Strong are local responses for Central and South Florida. They work directly with healthcare providers and first responders to ensure they’re creating the supplies that are most in demand and are front line worker-approved designs. Find an organization near you!
There are more way to donate than you think. While financial contributions and face masks are consistent needs, there are many way to contribute to the Central Florida PPE makers.
- Loan or donate equipment.
Many large organizations are accepting equipment such as sewing machines, 3D printers and filament, and laser cutters.
- Donate materials.
Extra fabric, elastic, printer filament, and more can all go to use. If you have materials lying around that may work for PPE, contact the groups above to see if they need them or can point you in the right direction.
- Donate your time and skills.
Can't sew? No problem! Many nonprofit organizations are in need of volunteers to help with project management and running materials to keep their operations moving smoothly.
- Share it on social.
Simply spreading awareness can go a long way! Sharing this article or the needs of your local groups on your personal social media outlets can work wonders. You never know who has the skills, equipment, or time to make a huge difference!
As situations and supply chains change, the needs of an organization may change as well.
It’s always a good idea to ask what supplies are most in demand. GetUsPPE.org along with Open Source Medical Supplies and Nation of Makers are working together to have a single national database of PPE needs and suppliers to enable more rapid response at scale: https://getusppe.org/makers
Please remember that not all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is created equally and to do your research to ensure your masks will be as effective as possible.
Here are some medically reviewed PPE Design sites:
Thank you to all of our Central Florida PPE heroes!