UPDATE 5/22/2020: New Dollar-for-Dollar Matching Challenge! Excited by her previous success and wanting to do more to help, today Ellie launches another $500 matching grant challenge. It opens now and closes on Sunday night. Join us!
UPDATE 5/21/2020: Though we have exceeded our initial goal, the requests for these devices continue to grow. With Ellie's matching grant we have now raised $7,515 and distributed 200 pulse oximeters. The more money we raise, the more devices we can get into the hands of people whose lives might be saved by them. We appreciate your generosity! Please continue to give!
UPDATE 5/12/2020: Today we distributed the first 100 pulse oximeters to very grateful people. Also today our daughter, Eliyah, is launching a $1000 matching challenge grant from the donor advised fund she opened when she became a Bat Mitzvah. Every dollar you donate this week is worth $2!
In the midst of this pandemic, our family has been looking for ways to help, and we have finally found a way to actually assist in saving lives. We hope that you will join our effort to bring healing to the sick and support those at high risk.
While volunteering in the Emergency Room at Bellevue Hospital in New York, our cousin, Dr. Richard Levitan*, identified that many very ill COVID-19 patients were presenting with what is called "Silent Hypoxia." They were coming into the hospital with incomprehensibly high levels of oxygen deprivation after having deteriorated at home for several days without realizing it. At that point, many people could not recover. If, however, people could identify declining oxygen levels and get treatment early it could save their lives. And what's truly incredible is that detection it is both possible and easy with a small battery-powered fingertip device called a pulse oximeter.
Our synagogue, Beth Am, is an anchor institution in Central West Baltimore, a historic Jewish congregation in a majority black neighborhood with too many people still living in poverty. Lower income communities, especially communities of color, are disproportionately suffering from COVID-19. We are asking for your support to help residents of Baltimore City. Pulse oximeters are in high demand and short supply, many having been purchased by people of means. However, we have managed to source some and, with your help, we would like to buy at least 100 units at a cost of about $40/unit. (The more money we raise the more we will buy!) Once we have the pulse oximeters in hand, we will work with community partners to make these life-saving devices available first to those who are COVID-positive and the elderly, and then (if we have enough) to others in need in the neighborhood.
*See Dr. Levitan's article in the New York Times, "The Infection That's Silently Killing Coronavirus Patients," April 20, 2020. It is linked under the "Donate" button.