Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Basic FAQs

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is protective clothing, goggles, or other equipment designed to protect the wearer from injury or infection. In this case, we are looking for PPE to protect our frontline healthcare workers from infection by COVID-19.

Each site is unique! Our request sites are looking for many kinds of equipment, including N95 masks, safety goggles, bunny suits, face shields, gowns, and disposable booties. Many sites have requested additional items such as hand sanitizer, thermometers, and walkie-talkies. Each listing has a complete list of items that they need, as well as whether they accept open packages or non-medical grade items. Refer to the card to see if you have something that a healthcare worker needs! Some sites have requested homemade masks and 3D-printed or makerspace items. If you are part of a makerspace community or can contribute homemade items, see our Makerspace Community FAQ.

Our website includes Level I Trauma Centers across the country, but we also feature a broader scope of healthcare providers (HCPs) such as community healthcare clinics, long-term care facilities, blood banks, shelters, and more. We are committed to getting PPE to all of our frontline workers during the pandemic. For more information on the full list of HCPs we support, check out our wiki.

Healthcare providers, administrators, or regional Partners in need of PPE have filled out our PPE request form. After the form is submitted, our dedicated data team moderates every single request before publishing it to our site.

PPE Contributor FAQs

Our network of volunteers has created a global map of over 1700+ locations, like hospitals and clinics, where you can donate your masks, gowns, and other PPE.

  1. Use our map below to find a hospital or health center near you accepting donations.
  2. Follow their instructions for what they accept and how to drop it off.
  3. If you are donating opened packages, please put them in a ziploc bag with a note saying whether they have been used, whether anyone in your household has been sick or travelled outside the country, and the expiration date if known.

If you are donating opened packages, make sure the receiving site accepts them! Each contact card will indicate this information. When you're ready, place the opened packages in a ziploc bag and include a note with the following information:

  • Under what conditions have they been stored? Backyard paint job? Construction? Art? Other? Let the requesting site know so they can provide it to the correct unit (regular hospital use vs. ICU).
  • Whether anyone in your household has been sick, travelled, or come in contact with someone who has travelled in the last 14-days.
  • The expiration date, if known.

ftm-india-large-donations

If you're looking for a place to start, we suggest entering your address or city into our search tool to find donation sites near you. You can also filter listings to see sites that are looking for the PPE items that you can contribute.

Make sure that you read each site's donation instructions carefully; some sites will accept open packages or homemade items, while others do not!

Once you've found a few possible sites, choose one that aligns with your values and donation size. There are a wide variety of sites that need PPE, and ultimately, the choice is yours. You will be helping protect our frontline healthcare workers no matter which you choose!

Not a problem! Some PPE requests include mailing addresses. Find a request site that accepts mail-in donations, and follow the instructions for that site.

We would love it if you helped us share our project on social media and within your networks! Sharing our site helps new healthcare providers find us, and it helps our healthcare providers connect with more potential PPE contributors!

Join our amazing team of volunteers at here

FAQs for PPE Recipients

After you submit the PPE request form, our volunteer team of data moderators check every submission before publishing your request to our map and directory. In some cases, this can happen as quickly as a few minutes after submission! On average, it takes about two hours for a listing to be published.

If it has been less than 4 hours, hang tight! We sometimes get surges of requests, and our data moderators may be working through the backlog. If it has been more than 12 hours, email [email protected].

Makerspace Community FAQs

First of all, amazing! Thank you for taking the time to make new PPE supplies!

Please use our map to help you identify frontline sites requesting PPE that will accept non-medical grade donations. You can use our filter menus to find sites that accept homemade or makerspace items.

Thank you for your contributions! We are so grateful for spaces filling the PPE needs of frontline workers and community members. Please fill out our Makers Form to join the map. We are verifying all maker groups, so the survey will ask for a dated photo of the product you are producing. Please attach that in the survey at the prompt.

We are so glad you asked! FindtheMakers map was created to match community efforts and need. Please search within your local area. Makerspaces and maker groups have noted whether they are accepting volunteers. For those that are, please reach out using the contact method they provided. Spaces will need all types of volunteer support, including production and runners to make drop-offs.

As much as our recipients need PPE, they must also manage the risk incurred by using non-medical grade items. Many institutions do not have the resources to vet all of the contributions they receive from various donors, and some are more comfortable only using the medical-grade items that they are familiar with and know they can rely on.

To ensure that your contributions are not wasted, please filter healthcare providers by "handmade" or "makerspace" items to locate the ones that can use your contribution!

Our #findthemakers is in partnership with Nation of Makers. Nation of Makers is a national nonprofit supporting America’s maker organizations through community building, resource sharing, and advocacy, within the maker movement and beyond. Nation of Makers is supporting maker organizations during the COVID-19 crisis by connecting them to facilities that need PPE, identifying suppliers (and discounts) for maker groups fabricating PPE, and identifying funding sources for groups producing PPE. They are also collating resources for makers responding to COVID-19.

#findthemasks works with Shield Net, a group that matches organizations in need of medical face shields with manufacturers that produce them. They have amassed a wide network of university makerspaces and commercial manufacturers who are making face shields based on their open-source design.

If you are an individual marker, we encourage you to use the #FindtheMakers map to Connect with a makerspace or maker group in your community. We encourage this collaborative interaction to avoid pinning your home and protect your privacy.

If you are a makerspace or maker group of any size, join the #FindtheMakers map here.

Data FAQs

Data seen on Find the Masks and Find the Makers is open and licensed under the Creative Commons Sharealike 4.0 license. Additionally, Find the Maker data is attributed to our collaboration with Nation of Makers and Open Source Medical Supplies.

We collect the information that you provide to us when you fill out our PPE request or Makerspace forms. The information regarding PPE recipient sites or makers goes through a data moderation process and will be published on our public website for anyone to see and use. We also request an email and a phone number that we do not disclose publicly, so that we may contact the user in case we need to elaborate the post, seek feedback or request a collaboration. We may process your data or share personal information with vendors, consultants, or other third-party service providers.

For more information, please see ourPrivacy Policy

Still have questions?

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