CUT RED TAPE 4 HEROES PLANS TO DELIVER MORE THAN 1 MILLION MASKS, GOWNS, FACE SHIELDS, HAND SANITIZER AND MORE
New York, NY (April 29, 2020) -- Today, Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes distributed approximately 44,000 surgical masks, Kn95 masks, face shields, Tyvex, and hand sanitizer to front line workers at University Hospital of Brooklyn, a Covid-19-only hospital. Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes is a charitable initiative that puts critical PPE equipment directly in the hands of those who need it to protect themselves and others in the epicenter of the Covid-19 crisis.
Art Science Research Laboratory (ASRL), a New York City-based organization that was the main PPE supply operation for uniform services during the World Trade Center 9/11 recovery operation, has teamed up with Housing Works, a New York City-based non-profit fighting the twin crises of AIDS and homelessness, to create this movement. By handing out care packages directly on the streets of New York, Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes is guaranteeing that the equipment ends up in the hands of those who need it most on the frontlines of the Coronavirus pandemic.
“We know from our experience after 9/11 that there is no time to wait to fundraise first in a crisis. We need to move quickly to buy, then deliver the equipment where it is most needed to assure we are saving as many lives as we can,” said Rhonda Roland Shearer, co-founder of ASRL, who is using her home equity loan to launch the project. “If that means standing on street corners, handing out masks to nurses, we will do that.”
Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes, which is accepting donations at cutredtape4heroes.org, has raised over $25K to date from individual donors.
More than 2,800 doctors, nurses, and healthcare staff received bags of PPEs from Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes’ first delivery to Bellevue Hospital on April 20. Each person was given 7 surgical masks and 1 KN95 mask, plus 1000 bags also included a Level 3 or 4 gown, and 2000 bags included a face shield.
“From our founding, we have been at the forefront of protecting vulnerable populations during a crisis. We know that they are often the most overlooked groups during any epidemic, as we saw for the homeless population throughout the AIDS crisis,” said Charles King, CEO of Housing Works. “Today, our responsibility is to come forward and guarantee that we are protecting these critical groups with essential protective equipment to keep them safe from the frontline workers at our public hospitals to people living in homeless shelters.”
Currently, volunteers plan to distribute over 1,000,000 FDA approved and certified, 3-ply surgical masks to first responders, healthcare workers and those at risk, including their patients and clients and organizations serving homeless and poor New Yorkers. Also, over 100,000 other PPE supplies will be distributed from the back of the Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes trucks including: face shields, gowns, KN95 masks, gloves, Tyvex, and hand sanitizer where we refill personal bottles.
“As we were distributing to healthcare workers at hospitals, I personally saw a homeless person turned away from a hospital for medical treatment because he wasn’t wearing a mask,” added Shearer. “Shelters have told us that they are down to their last 200 masks for their clients and patients, others are closed due to inability to find or even buy PPEs. We must also step forward to support the homeless population for their safety and the public's. How are they expected to shelter in place when they have no shelter and no masks?”
Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes has already provided PPE for medical staff and the essential workforce of the COVID-19 isolation shelter opened in New York earlier this month, a joint effort between Housing Works, Callen-Lorde, and the Department of Homeless Services.
About Housing Works
Housing Works is a healing community of people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Founded in 1990, our mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS through relentless advocacy, the provision of lifesaving services and entrepreneurial businesses that sustain our efforts. Housing Works is on the front lines of COVID-19, providing lifesaving services through healthcare clinics and housing programs, including emergency homeless shelters for New Yorkers living with COVID-19. Learn more at www.housingworks.org
About Art Science Research Laboratory
Art Science Research Laboratory (ASRL) is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit co-founded by artist, journalist, and philanthropist Rhonda Roland Shearer with her late husband, Harvard professor and scientist, Stephen Jay Gould. Immediately following the destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001, Shearer distributed urgently needed safety equipment to first responders at Ground Zero out of the back of a truck. ASRL was the main supplier of respirators and PPEs for police and fire uniform services during the nine months of WTC recovery operations. ASRL received grants from Robert Wood Johnson and the Rockefeller Foundation to pay for WTC tools and equipment for first responders. Learn more at www.asrlab.org
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