Support local production and provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) to essential workers in underserved communities, as they serve our neighbors and local businesses!
You already know how much the novel coronavirus has changed Greater Houston. Businesses were closed. Restaurants and venues and organizations have lost patrons and revenue. But now we're returning to work, even as the virus continues to spread throughout the region. For those who must return to work, we are grateful for their service to bring life back to normal, especially since we know that they risk infection for themselves, their loved ones, and those they serve, while they keep our food, transportation, social, municipal and business services running.
As the most diverse city in the country, we know that many Houstonians returning to work in these roles are people of color; and data shows that COVID-19 related deaths are disproportionately higher among minority and low-income communities.To help them stay safe and to keep Houston safe, re:3D and its network of large-format makers want to provide PPE to essential workers in diverse communities that are at heightened risk of critical illness and death from the disease. Let's help them.
As a social enterprise, re:3D has been talking with essential workers who need PPE (like restaurant and fast food workers), as well as small businesses that seek to reopen safely (like barbershops and nail salons), who have said the need for PPE for the people is in the thousands. We know that there are more small businesses in Houston that may already be struggling just to stay open, that will need PPE for their workers and may not be able to access or afford it. re:3D is now crafting a clear plastic splash guard and other PPE items to donate to those workers to protect themselves, their customers, and the public.
This is why we are asking you to donate what you can to support production and provision of PPE to local businesses and nonprofit organizations in diverse communities, starting with neighborhoods across Southwest to Southeast Houston. We intend to share best practices and processes with other communities that re:3D works with, including Austin and Puerto Rico, as well as their global customer base and the Impact Hub global network, to scale positive outcomes. But we want to help Houston, first: Please give what you can now and join us in making Houston a role model for how we solve this pressing issue!
To make the most of the funding for this effort, re:3D and Impact Hub Houston will collaborate with existing groups in underserved communities to identify workers and businesses in need of PPE -- like restaurants, grocery stores, food banks, direct service nonprofits, salons, etc. -- and leverage existing distribution systems to get supplies where they are most needed.
re:3D has been designing and producing 3D-printed PPE -- including face shields, hands-free door pulls, ear-savers, and masks -- for the Air Force, healthcare professionals, and community members since the coronavirus hit the US. So far, they have donated over 850 items to more than 15 groups across Houston, Austin and Puerto Rico. They want to do more. re:3D can manufacture thousands of pieces of PPE per week, depending on the design requested. In fact, they produced over 10,000 ear-savers in just seven days for the Air Force.
As the Houston area grapples with how to safely re-open the city, and people begin to venture away from home more freely, our essential workers are going to be placed at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 via community spread. The need to protect these workers, who may already have elevated risks and are not covered by existing efforts for healthcare providers and first responders, is great. With these funds, re:3D wants to thank the people keeping services going in our community by protecting them with these tangible, useful tools.
re:3D is prepared to immediately fabricate door pulls, splash guards, ear savers, and face shields; and support in-person delivery and instruction for usage for each business. Should we raise over $10,000, we will continue outreach, production and delivery of PPE to more workers and businesses across Houston!
Ear Savers: Thin, flexible straps to place on the back of the head. Users can hook mask elastic to the straps to pull the elastic up and off the ears and reduce abrasions. This is a reusable item and can be cleaned with soap and water, bleach or alcohol.
Face Shields: A two part product consisting of a 3d printed, adjustable headband and a clear plastic lens that covers the face and provides 180 degree face protection from aerosols. This is a reusable item and can be cleaned with soap and water, bleach or alcohol.
Hands-Free Door Pulls: An attachment for either a lever style or tube style door handle that allows users to open the door with the forearm rather than the hand. This is a reusable item and can be cleaned with soap and water, bleach or alcohol.
Splash Guard: Mobile plexiglass divider to place between customers and employees for when face shields aren’t sufficient. This product is still in development. This is a reusable item and can be cleaned with soap and water, bleach or alcohol.