helping hands

How Can I Donate Supplies to New York Hospitals in Need?

Healthcare workers at the Brooklyn Hospital Center help pre-screen people with coronavirus symptoms on Friday.
Healthcare workers at the Brooklyn Hospital Center help pre-screen people with coronavirus symptoms on Friday. Photo: Ben Fractenberg/THE CITY

Need to know more about coronavirus in New York? Sign up for our daily morning newsletter

New Yorkers know hospitals are running out of supplies. And they want to help.

We heard from readers who have spare N95 masks, latex and nitrile gloves, wipes, goggles and more.

But where can New Yorkers bring them? What’s the best way to make sure they safely reach health care workers?

We called the city’s public hospitals, reached out to health agencies, asked sources among medical workers and posed the question on Twitter.

Here are the answers we have so far — and we’ll update this list as we get more information.

• Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office is looking to buy gear for hospitals and is happy to accept donated equipment.

Jonah Bruno, a spokesperson of the state Department of Health, said the state is taking donations of “all sizes” — from corporate sources as well as individuals. Cuomo’s office provided the following contact information to connect donors to those who need equipment: Call 646-522-8477 or email COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov.

More information for those offering donations is also available through the governor’s COVID-19 donation website.

The governor’s office has cast a wide net and gotten creative. Staff tweeted that they’re even in touch with designer Christian Siriano, who volunteered to sew masks for workers in need.

• NYC Health and Hospitals, which oversees all of the city’s public hospitals, is not accepting physical donations of personal protective equipment outside of federal agencies in order to ensure they meet medical grade standards, according to a spokesperson.

• The public hospitals system is asking for monetary donations through its Network for Good site to help those fighting COVID-19. Funds will be used to help cover meals, groceries, hotel rooms, laundry service and scrubs for medical staff.

“Our dedicated employees are working day and night to make sure that all our patients receive the care they need,” spokesperson Stephanie Guzman said in a statement. “We are grateful for everyone who is able to make a donation.”

• SUNY Downstate-University Hospital of Brooklyn is one of three “COVID only” facilities designated by Cuomo on March 28. The facility says it has seen an “outpouring of generosity by our community” to donate supplies, but is still soliciting more supplies, a March 30 memo sent by the hospital read.

Anyone who can donate should email Donations@downstate.edu with contact information for the donor, the origin of the supplies, the type and quantity of supplies and whether they can be delivered or be picked up by SUNY Downstate.

• At Bellevue Hospital, staff received a message on March 20 directing all donation inquiries to one place so they could be managed centrally by the hospital’s “incident command team,” an email obtained by THE CITY read.

“During this time, we’ve been fortunate to receive many donation inquiries, for example, flowers, housing, masks and even time,” the message read. “If you receive a donation inquiry, please forward it to BellevueCommandCenter@nychhc.org.”

Bellevue spokesperson Justin Chin told THE CITY the public should use that email as well, and make sure to include “a detailed description” of donation offers.

• NewYork-Presbyterian is accepting donations of masks and other personal protective equipment. They should be sent to the attention of David Chong, MD, Milstein Hospital Building, 177 Fort Washington Ave., 6th floor, Center 12, New York, N.Y., 10032. Dr. Chong is the medical director for all Critical Care Services NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

• Some people — even reporters at THE CITY — have had a tough time finding the right person at a hospital to speak with to coordinate a donation. Others are crowdsourcing information — like Ethan Garner, a natural sciences professor at Harvard, who created this public Google Document that offers contact information for hospitals around the country. Within days, that effort has combined with a dozen others to build a database at GetUsPPE.org, which has a growing list of locations and people responsible for taking in donations at New York hospitals.

• The New York chapter of Masks for Docs is ferrying medical supplies directly from donors to doctors using a network of motorcyclists in the five boroughs. The group started making runs on March 21 and already have more than 50 volunteer riders in New York and New Jersey ready to roll, squad leader Ryan Snelson told THE CITY.

• The group PPE2NYC, founded and run by medical students in New York, is connecting donors with protective equipment directly to young people working in hospitals. They have six drop-off sites in Manhattan and offer pick-up service. You can set up a donation through the PPE2NYC Instagram page or on their website.

• The Afya Foundation — whose mission is to get surplus medical supplies to underserved health care facilities — is coordinating donations of protective equipment to the New York area. They are asking people to donate directly to Afya’s warehouse, or call businesses like construction companies, plastic surgery centers, dentists and others to donate their own supplies. You can find more information about their operation and how to donate here.

• Other New Yorkers are taking it upon themselves to gather supplies, like Flatbush-raised designer Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, who converted his West 27th Street studio into a collection point for masks and other equipment. The contact for his operation is wanttohelp@yourfriendsin.nyc or 242 W. 27th St., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001.

As of March 24, the Pyer Moss effort has gathered “over 7,300 masks and over 1,000 units of gloves and face protection,” a message on the designer’s Instagram account said.

• If you are a business who is able to source or manufacture much-needed supplies to help in the COVID-19 fight, the New York City Economic Development Corporation wants to hear from you. The EDC has a form on its website for manufacturers to fill out. Support can include “sourcing or production of medical supplies and equipment,” as well as the production and distribution of food or “sharing connections to people willing and able to work on response efforts.”

• Notify NYC, run by the city’s Office of Emergency Management, sent out a text alert on March 25 also looking for businesses with the ability to source or make medical supplies. The text included a link to this supply registration form designed to “gather critical information on supplies” from potential suppliers or donors, the site said.

Omar Bourne, spokesperson for OEM, told THE CITY the form is run by the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services to allow “suppliers to donate and/or sell prioritized items including ventilators, N95 masks, surgical masks, gloves and face shields to the city.”

• If you have a lot of stuff to give away, calling your local hospital to arrange a drop-off or pickup might be a good option — but keep in mind they are very busy and need to keep phone lines free. The New York-based research group EcoHealth Alliance donated “hundreds of brand new gloves, Tyvek suits & N95 masks” stocked for field work by calling up a hospital’s infection control department, members of the group said on Twitter.

If you know of any other ways to donate supplies to hospitals not covered here, email us at coronavirus@thecity.nyc.

If you have any questions, concerns or experiences to share about coronavirus in New York, tell us here.

If you’re a health care worker working with or in hospitals, we also want to hear from you.

Want to republish this story? See our republication guidelines.

SUPPORT THE CITY

You just finished reading another story from THE CITY.

We need your help to make THE CITY all it can be.

Please consider joining us as a member today.

DONATE TODAY!