OUR PROJECTS - Special Projects

Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes

Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes

Between March 2020 and September 2021, Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes, Ample PPE’s charitable project, has handed out over 16 million PPE and cleaning product items to those in need. But even with millions of dollars of in-kind donations, we still rely on and need individual contributions. Your help in one particular area is crucial, as I explain below.

Demand for PPE Remains High

Hospital workers, first responders, and vulnerable communities in NYC continue to contact me on a daily basis about their equipment shortages. Their predicament is due in part to the new mandates. Thankfully, corporations like Walmart, pharmacy distributors, and PPE vendors have learned about our work and are shipping essential equipment to us, at no cost. We receive in-kind donations of many multiple millions of PPE and cleaning products every month. Last week alone we received 7 tractor trailer loads, each with 30 pallets of hand sanitizer and hand wipes. All of these deliveries were donations.

Our New Warehouse Improves Distribution

Instead of solely distributing from tables at hospitals and at public housing sites, in June and July we acquired a 50,000-square-foot warehouse, a former Shoprite in Staten Island. This massive donated space allowed us to distribute, at near zero cost, over 5.8 million items of free PPE and cleaning products to hospital workers, first responders, and vulnerable communities over the five NYC boroughs. You can see photos of our new warehouse here: (20+) Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes | Facebook

Over 500 pallets of goods were picked up by over 100 government agencies, hospitals, and community groups. Often making multiple trips, these organizations brought vehicles large and small to the warehouse during the summer months. Everyone was so happy to have access to free quality products to keep themselves and communities safe. In gratitude, they write that they are thankful to have stocked up at the Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes warehouse during the summer months as the pandemic continues into the Fall.

We Need to Distribute PPE to Smaller Organizations

Here is the bottom line: We continue to get daily requests for PPE to Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes from smaller organizations, including those in the poorest communities of Harlem and the South Bronx. Thankfully, we are able to meet their needs with truckloads of millions of items that keep coming in from generous corporations and from New York State.

But while larger organizations can pick up donated PPE with their own vehicles, smaller community groups often lack such transportation options. The cost of running Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes’ own delivery vehicles has become a major challenge, one that cannot be met by in-kind donations. I am asking for your support so we can continue to reach out to these smaller community organizations and cover our trucking expense. Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes accepts donations of any amount to support our mission of delivering PPE wherever it is needed.

Please support our GoFundMe to bring more PPEs to hospital workers and those at risk.

With your help, we are bringing PPEs to doctors, nurses, healthcare staff, and others at risk.

APRIL 23, 2021 UPDATE: Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes has now handed out more than 4.1 million items of PPE to 270,000 healthcare workers, veterans, people experiencing homelessness, and public housing residents since April 2020. This includes our 50 + events for hospital workers. For our one-year anniversary, we are heading back to Bellevue Hospital in Manhattan — where we held our first hospital event April 20, 2020 — to give a month’s worth of PPE to its workers on April 26, 2021 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We also received a record donation of one million items of PPE from Texas-based medical supplies e-commerce retailer WellBefore. Read the news update here.

OCTOBER UPDATE: Last month, we handed out in Miami and Hialeah more than 2 million items of PPE to more than 60,000 healthcare workers and organizations serving vulnerable communities. In total, we have handed out more than 3 million items of PPE to more than 175,000 healthcare workers, homeless shelters and their clients, veterans and public housing residents in hot spot zip codes in the NYC-area and South Florida. We are still fundraising to pay the PPE debt. Help with a donation to our GoFundMe.

Read founder Rhonda Roland Shearer’s Medium article, “Why I took out a $1 million loan against my home to buy PPE.”

People magazine featured Rhonda’s story on Sept. 11, her work after the 2001 terrorist attacks, and how that has shaped her work now.

cutredtape4heros truck

Come to the rescue of our heroes! The more money we raise, the more supplies we can provide.  We need caring people to step up so we can continue going to hospitals, help healthcare workers in need, and later expand to nursing homes.  

CONTACT:
General inquiries: info@asrlab.org
Media inquiries, e-mail info@asrlab.org 
Donate through GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/f/cut-red-tape-4-heroes
For Volunteering, sign up here: bit.ly/CutRedTapeVols
If you would like more information about donating, privately donating, or corporate donations, please contact info@asrlab.org and/or +1 (212) 925-8812.

Rhonda Roland Shearer unloading PPE outside Coney Island Hospital, June 10, 2020 (Credit: Robert Ripps)

June 9, Woodhull Hospital (Credit: Alyssa Meadows)

Woodhull June 3 (Credit: Robert Ripps)

Woodhull June 9 (Credit: Alyssa Meadows)

VA Bronx May 31 (Credit: Keith Barraclough)

Veterans event June 5 (Credit: Keith Barraclough)

Rhonda Roland Shearer unloading PPE outside Coney Island Hospital, June 10, 2020 (Credit: Robert Ripps)

(Credit: Robert Ripps)

Lincoln Hospital May 13 (Credit: Keith Barraclough)

(Credit: Robert Ripps)

Richmond University Medical Center May 12 (Credit: Keith Barraclough)

St. Michael’s May 29 (Credit: Robert Ripps)

St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark May 29 (Credit: Robert Ripps)

Coney Island May 17 (Credit: Robert Ripps)

King’s County Hospital May 20 (Credit: Keith Barraclough)

 


Bellevue Hospital April 20 (Credit: Keith Barraclough)

Lincoln Hospital May 13 (Credit: Keith Barraclough)

King’s County Hospital May 20 (Credit: Robert Ripps)

VA Bronx May 31 (Credit: Robert Ripps)

Veterans event June 5 (Credit: Robert Ripps)

(Credit: Robert Ripps)

Just like Art Science Research Laboratory’s 9/11 supply operations, we are cutting through red tape for supplying PPEs during an emergency. Waste and endlessly disappearing donated PPE supplies happened then, and is happening now. Back in the first days of Ground Zero operations, ASRL first operated out of the back of a truck to deliver respirators and other PPEs directly into first responders’ hands, as widely documented in foundation and news reports.

The COVID-19 emergency has a similar failure in distribution–while the government and media continue to report millions of PPEs being purchased and shipped into NYC, it is frustrating and dangerous that health care staff still do not have sufficient PPEs. Our solution is CutRedTape4Heroes.org— a program where we park a truck packed with KN95 masks, surgical masks, Face Shields, Gowns in front of hospitals and nursing homes in need, and have volunteers securely pass out PPEs to health care workers who stand in line 6 feet apart. Heath Care Workers show a valid hospital ID (which we photograph with a phone camera like when you enter buildings) to obtain needed PPEs.

Beneficiaries of Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes COVID-19 Efforts in NYC include:

1. Hospital workers at 26 NYC-area hospitals.
2. FDNY EMS, First Responders, Fire Inspectors
3. Housing Works’ Covid-19 Homeless Shelters’ Staff
4. Health care workers at nursing homes and homeless shelters
5. Home care workers
6. Veterans and community members including residents at 10 public housing complexes in hot spot zip codes

“We know from our experience after 9/11 that there is no time to wait to fundraise first in a crisis. We need to move quickly to buy, then deliver the equipment where it is most needed to assure we are saving as many lives as we can,” said Rhonda Roland Shearer, co-founder of ASRL, who is using her home equity loan to launch the project. “If that means standing on street corners, handing out masks to nurses, we will do that.”


To learn more and contribute to Cut Red Tape 4 Heroes, visit at cutredtape4heroes.org or follow along for updates on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.
Media inquiries, e-mail both info@asrlab.org
Donate through GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/f/cut-red-tape-4-heroes
For Volunteering, sign up here: bit.ly/CutRedTapeVols
If you would like more information about donating, privately donating, or corporate donations, please contact info@asrlab.org and/or 212.925.8812.


Art Science Research Laboratory , a 501c3, not-for-profit,  was the main provider of desperately needed respirators and personal protective equipment for uniform services (police and fire) during the 9 months of recovery operations at World Trade Center Ground Zero after Sept. 11. Learn more about our Ground Zero work in this New York Times article or on our website for WTC Ground Zero.

 

Photo of WTC Ground Zero

Photo of Rhonda Roland Shearer unloading supplies from a truck during WTC Ground Zero Relief (Credit: Kelly Guenther)

Photo from 2002. Photo credit: Kelly Guenther

Photo from 2002. Photo credit: Kelly Guenther

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