People Protecting Each-other Sustainably (PPEs) was developed to recruit and manage over 100 Northeast
Ohio volunteers. People Protecting Each-other Sustainably used the social media platform Facebook to facilitate material donations, volunteer recruitment and training, and to function as an ongoing central communications hub. Leaders used an assembly line process with zero contact pick up and drop off at multiple stages of production to allow safe assembly and distribution of face masks.
A total of 7,695 handmade face masks were created to distribute to local frontline responders in 10 weeks. Use of upsourced and donated materials allowed this project to reduce potential landfill waste and made a zero cost project possible. Volunteers had positive responses to the project and reported benefits from their participation.
This model has been successfully recreated by a smaller group in Geauga County, Ohio, with similarly successful results. Clearly this model of community mobilization has the potential to be replicated in other state of emergency crises and emergency response situations to produce lifesaving or necessary equipment when industry standard equipment is not readily available.
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Story submitted by Andrew Snyder, USA