Healthcare workers across the country need our help. I should know — I’m married to one. My wife is a pediatric nurse and, like many on the front lines of this pandemic, her hospital is close to running out of N95 masks – the same masks that construction pros use every day on our jobsites and in our shops.
That’s why Fieldwire launched GiveMePPE.com, a resource for construction teams and medical centers to connect to get protective gear to our brothers and sisters in the trenches.
While all PPE donations are appreciated, N95 masks are in greatest need. They seal tight to the face and can filter 95% of infectious particles out of the air. 3M, the only US-based manufacturer of these masks, ramped up production but is struggling to meet demand. It’s up to us to pick up the slack.
Even expired PPE can help. Under the new CDC guidelines, hospitals are allowed to accept “certain N95 models beyond their manufacturer-designated shelf life.” Some facilities will even accept face masks and gloves in opened boxes.
Please donate your unused N95 respirators, face masks, gloves, protective goggles, coveralls, booties, hand cleaners, and other PPE to those in need. And hold off on placing new orders until this COVID-19 mess has gone away.
You can also donate by contacting local hospitals and non-profit groups directly, or by checking your state’s Dept. of Health website for a donation portal. And remember: there’s no such thing as a too-small donation. Every mask could save a life!
Here are just a few of the many companies that have stepped up to the plate so far:
The family-owned Ghilotti Construction Company has donated 560 masks to facilities in the Bay Area and they’re not done yet. “We started reaching out to vendors to find more N95 masks,” Willie Ghilotti told the North Bay Business Journal, “as well as other items such as disinfecting wipes, toilet paper, Lysol spray, etc.”
The East End Group, a Long Island-based general contracting and maintenance provider, donated over 15,000 masks through their supplier. “People are blown away when they see them, you would think I’m handing over someone the winning lottery ticket,” Ryan Dempsey, managing partner, told WABC.
The Boston arm of Suffolk Construction donated 1,250 masks. “We have also reached out to other construction companies in the region to encourage them to donate their masks to local hospitals to assist in this effort,” the company said in a statement to Engineering News Record (ENR).
ABC6 News reports that Messer Construction, an employee-owned company specializing in complex commercial projects, donated its inventory of 180 masks to OhioHealth Hospitals.
Paul Kavanagh of Hill 16 Construction and his friend Liam O’Brien donated a combined 175 masks to Kavanagh’s physician. “These are the guys on the front lines… They need them more than anybody else,” Kavanagh said in an interview with WCVB. “We can suck in a bit of dust, and we’ll survive, but they won’t.”
Kuharchik Construction, an Exeter-based highway lighting and traffic signal contractor, donated over 1,000 masks to hospitals and youth service providers. “My only regret is not having more to contribute,” said CEO Robert Bresnahan Jr.
According to ABC11 News, the Clancy & Theys Construction Company donated 350 masks to healthcare providers. “This is the first time I’ve ever dealt with anything like this in my career,” project manager Drew Sutton said. “I’m sure that all construction companies will help out with whatever they can. As a company, we’ll do anything we can to help the situation.”
O&G Industries, the largest private construction engineering firm in Connecticut, has donated over 100 masks so far. According to ENR, the company is also planning to donate “several thousand pairs of latex gloves.”
Ace Wood Flooring of Smithfield was unable to donate their stockpile of 5,000 masks to nearby hospitals due to strict “sourcing restrictions.” Luckily, as The Valley Breeze reports, local police stations and fire departments were eager to accept them.
Schuchart Construction donated 320 masks to a Seattle children’s hospital. “We are looking for ways to help while still keeping our folks safe and protected,” President Caset Schuchart told Biz Journals. He said they’ve been able to accomplish this through “additional protective measures.”
The Hayner Hort Corp. donated 2,400 masks to hospitals in Upstate New York. As President Jeremy Thurston told Syracuse.com: “I encourage other construction businesses and construction supply companies to see if they have any PPE that they can give to our healthcare providers during this critical time.”
Sampson Construction, a design-build and construction management firm, has donated 595 masks to date, and their director of business development Joseph Young says that they’re planning to donate another 200.