Across New York and the world, hospitals and health centers are providing front-line care to people in need. Here are three ways to help support this vital work in Manhattan.
1. Donate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
This is probably the most critical. Due to the surge in COVID-19 patients, there is a vital need to get PPE to New York health-care providers who come in contact with the virus.
PPE includes N95 masks, surgical masks, full face shields, protective goggles, disposable latex gloves, hand sanitizer, thermometers, hospital gowns, and disinfectant wipes, among other items.
Most hospitals welcome donations, and New York City has set up NYC.gov/ppedonations to expedite the process. Fill out the form with your contact information and the items you have to donate. A representative will get in touch with you ASAP to schedule a pickup. If the online form is not an option for you, please call 833-NYC-0040 to donate by phone.
Grassroots organizations such as GetUsPPE have also made it easy to locate PPE requests in your neighborhood. The organization launched an interactive map, which you can use to see the current needs and donation instructions in Lower Manhattan. Tribeca Pediatrics in Battery Park City is requesting N95s to provide care to patients, while Apicha Community Health Center on Canal Street needs N95s, disposable gloves, and hand sanitizer. Some doctors have left residential addresses to accept any items you can spare, including those in already-opened packages.
2. Donate Blood and Plasma
If you have recently recovered from COVID-19, hospitals and researchers are actively seeking your blood donations. You may have antibodies that could help save the lives of others infected by the virus. Sign up to see if you qualify with Mount Sinai Health System. Or try signing up with NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.
If you are unaffected by the coronavirus, hospitals still need a regular supply of blood donations for unrelated, lifesaving transfusions. Citing a dramatic reduction in donations, the FDA urges healthy individuals to donate if they are able. Keep in mind that blood reserves are perishable, and New York City needs approximately 2,000 daily donors to maintain its supply. According to the New York Times, this is one of the essential exceptions to shelter-in-place recommendations.
You can schedule an appointment through the New York Blood Center or the American Association of Blood Blanks Locator. But if you have symptoms of COVID-19, it is important to stay home rather than donating blood.
3. Donate Meals
Across the country, restaurants and organizations are finding ways to deliver meals to essential medical workers.
The owners of Tarallucci e Vino created Feed the Frontlines as a way for city residents to gift meals to health-care providers, while also supporting local businesses. You can donate single meals or larger amounts through this form.
And if you love pizza, you can share the love through the Slice Out Hunger’s Pizza vs Pandemic initiative — feeding front-line health providers by coordinating large orders with independent pizzerias in Manhattan. Visit the website to make a donation or suggest a local health center in need.