PPE Collection Drive Toolkit

DIY PPE Collection Toolkit

Introduction

Welcome to the DIY PPE (Do-It-Yourself Personal Protective Equipment) Collection Toolkit! This is an effort started by students, faculty, and staff at the University of Oregon Office of Sustainability and Student Sustainability Center to mobilize community members to help healthcare workers in the fight against COVID-19. If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to us at: lanecountyppe@gmail.com.

Background

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to disrupt manufacturing supply chains around the world. At the same time, the growing numbers of people falling ill due to the virus creates increasing demand for reliable supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other essential medical supplies. Shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers around the world are one of the most time sensitive and critically important of the many issues facing society right now. Shortages of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers pose a growing threat to workers and patients and put all of us at greater risk.

We can all help address the shortages of reliable and safe personal protective equipment. This page focuses on the urgent need to collect existing, professionally manufactured personal protective equipment from businesses, organizations and individuals who are not currently using these materials for use by healthcare workers on the frontlines protecting all of us. We encourage you to help collect existing PPE as soon as you can. 

Donations of existing, professionally manufactured PPE are crucial right now. At the same time, it is necessary to establish reliable and consistent supplies of PPE and other essential equipment. Along these lines, individuals, businesses, schools, and other kinds of organizations are gearing up to produce critically needed equipment. We encourage you to support these efforts however your capacity allows. As our capacity allows, we will provide resources for actions that can help, from individual behavioral changes, to volunteer initiatives, to business innovations and adaptations, to political organizing.

General Steps

  1. Find out what the needs are in your community.
    1. Look online to find out what your county health department is doing – many are already requesting donations.
      1. If nothing is available online, call them to find out what they are doing.
    2. Contact frontline healthcare facilities directly – like hospitals or urgent care locations – and ask if they can accept donations of PPE
      1. Many hospitals and doctors’ offices may not be allowing the use of cloth masks for some caregivers, but they may allow them for others. Similarly, they may encourage mask usage for patients. It’s important to understand who needs which kinds of PPE, and who may be able to benefit from them even if caregivers are not using them. 
    3. Keep checking back; needs change constantly. Even if a group says that they don’t need them the first time you ask, they may in a couple of days, a week, or next month. Make sure they have your contact information if their situation changes, and be proactive (but respectful) in continuing to check their need for PPE.
  2. Make a list of local businesses to contact. 
    1. Start by looking for associations, such as dentists associations for your state, county, and/or city. Associations often list a directory of member businesses.
    2. Think creatively – many states have stay at home orders recently enacted, which include mandates for many businesses to close. Businesses not in operation may be able to donate equipment that they normally would be using.
  3. Emails are a good way to reach a lot of businesses with one message, but phone calls are still more effective ways to engage people and to encourage donations.
  4. As your capacities allow, coordinate volunteers to pick up and drop off donations to ease the burden on businesses who may be struggling now.
  5. Thank donors! Thank volunteers.
  6. Take pictures of donations and share on social media as a way to acknowledge participants and to encourage others to join in.

Templates

Below are several templates that can be used as a starting point for your efforts to collect PPE

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