Long Island Open Source Medical Supplies

Rebecca, New York

Tell us a little about yourself!

I'm a community organizer, innkeeper, and documentarian living on Long Island, an EPICENTER of COVID19. As soon as the virus started exploding here, I knew that I had to use my free time (since my bed and breakfast became very quiet) to rally fellow community members for the greater good.

I wanted to help get masks and face shields and gowns to the front line workers, but I don't know how to sew! What I do know how to do is organize people.

So I created a Facebook page, Long Island Open Source Medical Supplies, hoping a few neighbors would join and share best-practice information on how to make and distribute PPE locally.

WOW I was blown away. After about a month, we're at over 1,700 members, over 20,000 homemade PPE items delivered to frontline workers, and so many happier hearts in a grim moment.

Tell us about your #MakeWaves project.

Long Island Open Source Medical Supplies has functioned mostly on the good will and donations of neighbors, but we'd like to mobilize a bigger effort to make gowns for local hospitals, nursing homes, volunteer ambulance corps, and others in need. 

These gowns require ripstop, so unlike the masks and surgical caps, which are often made of bedsheets or quilters' stashes of cotton, we need to purchase it.

Any money that is donated is used to purchase ripstop fabric from a local wholesaler so that our talented volunteer sewists can turn it into lifesaving gowns for those encountering COVID19 patients!

Who inspired you?

We are helping any essential worker who does not have enough or proper PPE. There's a global group called Open Source COVID19 Medical Supplies. I made a local group so that the community could pool its resources and help neighbors.

Every 'little bit' helps. This money and acknowledgement would be a beautiful recognition of hundreds of volunteers' countless hours of hard work, and help us continue protecting our neighbors while doing what we can to stop the spread of COVID19. Thank you for your consideration!

Your message to the community:
If you want to help, never be stopped by thinking that your action would be "too small"- every great movement is made up of hundreds of "small" expressions of care, love, and support. Just think of the problem, identify your skills and resources, and then do what you can. If everyone chose to do a little bit, the world would see a whole lot of great change- and it starts with you!

Say hi to Rebecca!

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