There is a worldwide lack of front line protective equipment (PSA) and medical supplies to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, and the Frontline Responders Fund wants to channel donations to address this deficiency. The fund, which seeks public donations through GoFundMe, will use all of the proceeds to cover the cost of transporting these key supplies to the hospitals, clinics and public agencies most in need.
Flexport facilitates deliveries through its supply chain management platform and services and receives donations through its partner Charities Add Foundation of America (CAF), which makes it easier for charitable donations to be accepted for Flexport.org , Flexports NGO for social projects.
Flexport has already taken steps to deploy devices where they are most needed: Last week, 60,000 surgical masks, 34,000 gloves, 2,000 surgical gowns and 50 thermometers from MedShare were delivered to the San Francisco Department of Health. But the organization wants to do more, both for SF and for other cities looking for ways to support their own supplies.
"My neighbor is on the board and told me the city really needs help," said Ryan Petersen, CEO of Flexport, earlier this week via email. “Of course, our team used our knowledge of supply chains and logistics as well as a long-term partnership with MedShare.org to get PSA quickly. Now we are stepping up efforts to get more care for SF as well as other cities and hospitals that are also urgently needed. "
The funds provided through this fundraiser will not only be used to secure PPE, but also for “test kits, thermometers, ventilators and medication”, according to the GoFundMe page of the project, based on the estimates of medical service providers top priority in terms of need.
Petersen says his entire time is focused on logistics to support this ongoing effort, and it looks like it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
Other organizations, including Apple and now SoftBank, have donated large amounts of N95 respirators, a key element of front-line protective equipment. Flexport's work could facilitate further delivery and use their supply chain relationships to ensure that the equipment gets to the frontline staff as quickly as possible.
Donations can be made directly through the fund's GoFundMe page, and the total is currently nearly $ 3 million, largely through substantial donations from Silicon Valley executives, including Paul Graham, Jack Dorsey and Ron Conway as well as celebrities like Edward Norton and Arnold Schwarzenegger.