Over the past couple of weeks, we have felt pretty helpless in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. That changed a few days ago when we began learning about the nationwide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment. As most of you know by now, many hospitals throughout the country are in dire need of the now elusive N95 respirator masks along with other protective equipment such as surgical masks, tyvek gowns, and face shields. We wanted to help the healthcare community as best we could, so we’ve been working around the clock with our manufacturing partners to develop a cloth mask for healthcare workers that need them the most.
Since there is understandably some confusion around this topic, we wanted to address a few matters directly. Our goal here is to ensure you that there is a confirmed need for this product and that you will be making a meaningful difference with your donation.
- Cloth masks are not considered PPE and they are not surgical grade. However, according to the CDC, fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. Our masks are being made specifically for organizations that have directly communicated that they have no better alternative for protective gear at this point.
- Hospitals have been publishing detailed requirements for acceptable types of cloth masks. To ensure that our masks serve a purpose, we worked with our manufacturing partners to develop a prototype that meets these critical guidelines.
- The need for protective gear has been heightened in the past few days as many hospitals are now requiring all personnel to wear masks. The best use for our masks will be in the protection of these lower-risk healthcare workers. It's our hope that the doctors and nurses interacting directly with infected patients get access to the PPE they need to stay safe and protected. However, we've learned first hand that the situation in many hospitals is dire and that these medical professionals are often relying on cloth masks as a protective resource in the absence of medical grade equipment.
- Hospitals aren’t the only organizations in need. Food pantries, shelters, and nursing homes are also lacking the resources needed to help protect the spread of COVID-19 within their communities.
Now that you have the facts, here’s how our donation program works:
- Our goal here is to help as many people as we can! As a small business, we can only afford to donate a few hundred masks which is why we need your support. By crowdsourcing the costs, we are able to make a greater impact and ship in bulk (which reduces the individual cost of these masks further).
- We are asking that you place a donation of $25 or more. Your donation will ONLY cover the cost to produce and distribute these masks. Translation: Pepper is making $0 profit. 100% of your donation goes towards our material, production and shipping costs.
- Our team has spent the past week speaking directly with nurses, doctors, hospital administrators and other healthcare personnel to identify a list (included below) of organizations that have confirmed their need for this product. At checkout (under Gift Message), you can specify the organization that will receive your mask donation. Or leave it to us to select from our pre-vetted list.
- As a thank you for your participation, we are giving 25% off towards a future purchase to each individual who donates.
As you all know, this is a very fluid situation, so we encourage you to share any information you have. Please text, email or DM us if you know of additional organizations that could benefit from this cause.
Thank you so much for your help!
Organizations in need:
Darien EMS - Darien, CT
Riley Children's Hospital - Indianapolis, IN
Oshner Medical Center - Kenner, LA
Beth Israel - Boston, MA
Boston Children's Hospital - Boston, MA
Boston Medical Center - Boston, MA
Women’s Lunch Place, Homeless Shelter - Boston, MA
Southend Community Health Center - Boston, MA
Lawrence General Hospital - Lawrence, MA
Lowell General Hospital - Lowell, MA
Nantucket Cottage Hospital - Nantucket, MA
Stone Rehabilitation & Senior Living - Newton, MA
Haley House - Boston, MA
South Boston Community Health Center - Boston, MA
South End Community Health - Boston, MA
The Arc Detroit - Detroit, MI
University of Chicago Medicine - Chicago, IL
Valley Hospital - Ridgewood, NJ
Providence House Women's Shelter - Brooklyn, NY
St Thomas Hospital - Nashville, TN
Incarnation Children's Center - New York, NY
NYU Langone - New York, NY
Montefiore Hospital - Nyack, NY
Montefiore Hospital - Queens, NY