Who we are
Last Mile is a national volunteer network focused on getting PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as masks and face-shields directly into the hands of frontline healthcare workers.
Over the past 2 weeks, we’ve delivered tens of thousands of masks to over three hundred frontline providers in dozens of hospitals and healthcare institutions from New York City to San Diego, but we need to do more.
Money raised will go directly to the purchasing and distribution of critical PPE to the providers who are the most at risk, and to the hospitals that are most under-resourced and serving low income or at-risk populations.
We focus on N95 masks because out of all PPE, respirator masks offer the highest protection from exposure of the virus. Your donation will secure these protective masks and other PPE for communities where we have a local Last Mile volunteer group already in place: Boston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Diego, and NYC (with more to come).
Frontline healthcare providers across the country are scrambling to meet a huge spike in demand for PPE as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many efforts, large and small, have sprung up to solve this problem, with varying speeds and levels of expertise in the complicated systems that make up this space. In the meantime, frontline healthcare workers are treating COVID-19 positive patients without the necessary gear.
Here’s what providers are saying:
"[Dr. J] will take the masks to the clinic tomorrow, and I know they will be put to good use (she’s been using the same one [mask] for 3 weeks." - Physician at a community health center in Boston serving predominantly Latinx and immigrant populations
“The nurses, mid-levels and physicians in my urgent care are not seen as needing N95s, and therefore will not benefit from donations directly to the hospital. We are being allowed to use N95s only if they are our own from outside of the medical center or if the community donated them to us. We have already had one physician get COVID-19. We need direct donations to the staff, and in particular to the nurses who are absolutely reliant on outside donations to get the full protection they deserve.” -Physician at one of the largest Urgent Care centers for COVID19 testing in the Los Angeles metro area
Use of Funds
We have been hard at work finding authenticated NIOSH approved factories and suppliers of N95 respirators, the PPE item most in demand and hardest to source for healthcare professionals. After following this due diligence process led by volunteers in our network with direct expertise in mask manufacturing and import/export, we are sourcing masks from, a NIOSH-certified factory in China, and confirmed domestic distributors.
We’ve secured over $100,000 of generous donations, and sourced 3 bulk orders securing a total of 65,000 N95 and KN95 masks for distribution in two weeks time.
All funds raised are tax-deductible through Rapid Resilience, the disaster relief arm of the 501c3 RETI Center NYC, and will go directly to the purchase of N95 respirator masks and other much needed PPE.
Our on-the-ground volunteer teams distribute the PPE directly into the hands of frontline heathcare workers who are most in need in each community across cities like NYC, Boston, New Orleans, Los Angeles, and San Diego . A 5% admin fee will cover accounting and legal costs for our 501c3 partner.
What is the Rapid Resilience Initiative?
Rapid Resilience is an emergency response initiative of NYC-based Resilience, Education, Training and Innovation (RETI) Center — a 501(c)3 nonprofit born out of Superstorm Sandy with a mission to build resilient communities.
Rapid Resilience is a network of volunteer initiatives across the country that have mobilized to address the critical need for supplies within the healthcare community. We have come together to ask for your support in this unprecedented public health catastrophe.
You may request your donation be earmarked for a particular region on the Donation Page.
Or you can donate to the overall national effort by selecting Last Mile National on the Donate Page. Donations to Last Mile PPE at the national level will purchase supplies that will be allocated based on the communities most in need at the time the order is placed.
All of your donations will go to the RETI Center, and you will receive a confirmation letter acknowledging your contribution.
Last Mile PPE is one of several groups working on coordinating purchasing with groups like MaskForce NYC, Project PPE, Protect Those who Protect Us, Protect our Healthcare Heroes, Masks 'R' Us, The Mask Fund with the following goals in mind:
-Sharing vetted suppliers - sharing information and expertise to guarantee that all partnered GoFundMe campaigns are buying from trusted suppliers rather than incentivizing counterfeiters and other profiteers
-Streamlined logistics - we can handle the complicated logistics of importing and distributing to frontline workers, rather than each campaign having to reinvent the wheel
-Price coordination - placing fewer, consolidated orders rather than many small ones both guarantee a better price, and helps to prevent bidding wars and price inflation
Why Last Mile is Different:
We specifically focus on the “last mile” challenge of actually getting the PPE supplies directly into the hands of those who need it the most, as quickly and efficiently as possible. What does this mean? We have arranged the delivery of PPE down to the last six feet, by car or bike, one of our couriers delivers PPE into the hands of the healthcare worker.
We communicate directly with health care providers: We collect requests directly from frontline workers and then verify each request to ensure their accuracy, need and urgency This direct line of communication allows us to develop relationships with providers and get detailed, on the ground intelligence on where the most urgent need is, down to the hospital, unit and floor level. Privacy of our providers is of utmost importance - we never share this information externally.
We focus on distribution, putting PPE directly into the hands of providers who need it most: We distribute PPE supplies based on risk - prioritizing providers who are performing high risk procedures like intubations - and need, targeting underresouced hospitals facilities that serve low income and at-risk populations. We developed guidelines with anesthesiologists, OB/GYNS, and a risk assessment and operations expert who has led disaster relief operations internationally and domestically. We give directly to providers, not administrators.
We coordinate with other groups to maximize efficiency: Dozens of independent groups and individuals have emerged to fundraise and source PPE supplies. While well intentioned, it has put additional pressure on the already limited existing supply of PPE. Our national network gives us the visibility needed to help coordinate efforts so that groups can place fewer, consolidated orders rather than many small ones to ensure a better price - preventing bidding wars and price inflation, and quality control to buy from our trusted supplier.
We organize nationally and locally: As the pandemic spreads, so does the need for more communities to take action. Local city groups are volunteering to share learnings through tool kits, templates, best practices, and organizing support for new teams on the ground so they can scale as quickly as possible and be effective. We share information so that local groups are working together and not competing for resources.
A Day in the Life
Here’s what a typical day looks like for one of our local volunteer efforts:
-Volunteers hold a daily check-in call to discuss the providers and hospitals most in need
-Volunteers make verification calls to providers who have requested PPE to verify their identity and to better understand their needs and the risks they are facing. Each volunteer enters call notes, and classifies urgency level.
-Partnership and fundraising leads review progress on finding donated PPE or fundraising to order more supplies.
-Database manager triangulates incoming data from our request and donate forms in our Airtable system to identify need and match it with donated supplies.
-Fundraising lead runs donor reports and updates based on where supplies have been delivered.
-Purchasing lead place consolidated orders with our trusted supplier and tracks the inventory.
-Communications and social media team update each other on new volunteer needs and what content to push out to our networks.
-Dispatcher creates delivery routes and assigns couriers to deliver the supplies to healthcare providers.
-Courier meets the healthcare provider, maintaining 6 feet of distance, for the PPE drop off and reports back to the team