The PPE Purchasing Initiative reduces the financial burden and threat of unemployment for small businesses by financing their production of high-quality and/or medical-grade PPE to be donated to frontline workers in their local community or hotspot locations.
How It Works
Nest “purchases” masks and other PPE to be donated to frontline workers and vulnerable citizens, so that our small businesses do not bear the investment in volunteer production alone. This program will directly help to ‘flatten the curve’ by putting PPE into the hands of those who need it most, while equipping small and micro businesses with the capital they need for materials, labor and shipping, thereby keeping our artisan workforce employed and improving wellbeing globally.
COVID-19 Impact on Artisan and Maker Businesses
Multicultural Refugee Coalition | Austin, Texas
“We have funding to produce up to 3200 masks to keep our team of 7 seamstresses employed for the next 4 weeks. We are unsure how long we will be out of studio production and are seeking funding for the production of masks for medical and other frontline workers to sustain our team for 4 additional weeks.”
Refugee Artisan Initiative | seattle, washington
“One month ago, Refugee Artisan Initiative was making kitchen and home sewn products. Due to the demand in PPE we pivoted overnight. I felt like I was weathering a perfect storm, combining my background as a clinical pharmacist with my desire to continue to provide the artisans living wages along with being resourceful by upcycling unused bedsheets for the mask material. At the same time, our artisan husbands’ income drastically declined in the gig economy as Uber drivers. I quickly brought artisan Rahel’s husband Alem on board, to transport materials to artisans’ homes, and bring back the finished PPE. We have made over 6,000 masks, mainly donated to healthcare workers and vulnerable populations like inmates and low income seniors in Chinatown. We are also creating adult and children masks along with mask kits to create at home. We want to be a part of solution to fight against COVID-19 pandemic till this war is over.”—Ming-Ming Tung-Edelman, RAI founder
Vickery Trading Co | Dallas, Texas
“So far, we have received donations to sponsor the production of 2700 masks for first responders and medical professionals. Masks are produced from donated scrap fabric and elastic and donations cover the cost of an associate’s labor to produce the mask. Our seamstresses are working hard to produce masks in addition to the other products we offer.”
How To Get Involved
Give a Mask, Employ an Artisan! Sponsor a mask for a frontline worker AND sustain small artisan and maker businesses operating on razor-thin margins during these unprecedented times! Employee matching from organizations and companies can make your donation go even further!