Four Georgia-based nonprofits – the Georgia Center for Nonprofits (GCN), Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC), MedShare, and the Atlanta Community Tool Bank – have teamed up to establish the Nonprofit PPE Bank, filling nonprofit organizations’ critical need for personal protective equipment (PPE) free of charge. 

To date, the PPE Bank has gathered and distributed over 2 million pieces of protective supplies – masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and much more – by leveraging relationships with area companies and the logistics infrastructure already established by FODAC, MedShare, and the ToolBank.

“Given the escalation of the COVID pandemic and the cost of PPE, our efforts are focused on getting these supplies to nonprofits as rapidly as possible so that they can spend their funds on essential services like food and medical care,” said Karen Beavor, CEO of GCN.

The PPE Bank works by delivering supplies to “lead agencies” across the state, such as United Ways, Rotary clubs, and community foundations, which then orchestrate distribution to their local nonprofits. 

The Nonprofit PPE Bank is an initiative born out of the Nonprofit COVID Task Force, organized by the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and comprised of agencies from across Georgia – nonprofits, major medical providers, technology leaders – all working on coordinated service strategies to strengthen the nonprofit response to the COVID-19 crisis and to critical, mounting community needs.

“The PPE bank is saving nonprofits thousands of dollars in unbudgeted expenses – dollars that are now being put to use by nonprofits on direct, mission-critical services like food distribution, keeping families housed, and medical care,” Beavor said. “The way that our partners have stepped up to create this service is a testament to the collaborative, can-do spirit of nonprofits, and to the generosity of donors.”

To receive supplies, lead agencies fill out an online survey that helps them estimate PPE quantities needed throughout their community; GCN makes the quantity calculations, then the ToolBank, MedShare, and FODAC oversee fulfillment.

Among the lead agencies that have received PPE so far: Community Foundation of West Georgia, Cobb Community Foundation, Chattanooga Area Food Bank, Georgia Charitable Care Network, United Way of Southwest Georgia, United Way of the Coastal Empire, Chattahoochee Nature Center, Community Foundation of the CSRA, Rotary clubs in numerous rural counties (such as Moultrie and Americus), and several municipalities (such as the City of LaGrange).

The partnership behind the PPE Bank is grateful for all the PPE donors to date, including Delta Airlines, UPS, The Home Depot, NCR, Henry Schein, Ford, and General Auto Parts, among others. At the same time, it is actively pursuing additional PPE donations. 

“We are seeking support to continue this life-saving service,” said FODAC’s CEO Chris Brand. “We are running through current PPE supplies very quickly, which means we need to acquire additional PPE donations, as well as funds for continued warehousing, sorting, trucking, and coordinating with a large array of partners statewide.”

Four Georgia nonprofits have combined resources to create the PPE Bank to provide free personal protective equipment (PPE) to other nonprofits. (Photo Credit: Georgia Center for Nonprofits)

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