Volunteer Communication 4-6-20
It Takes a Village (and in this case it took a Valley!)
We are overwhelmed by the community’s response to help in the goal of delivering 1000 quality masks per day to our local healthcare providers.
We have already delivered our first 1000 masks to Eisenhower Medical Center and have 3000 more ready to be delivered this week.
Steps to reaching our goal have been via distribution sites in Palm Desert and Palm Springs, as well as by working with several clubs and organizations in the valley.
We’ve heard it said that sometimes in life you have to be fluid, because flexible is too rigid.
It is an extraordinary time and we are all learning to make quick and fluid decisions.
We unfortunately must immediately discontinue our drive-thru mask kit pick up and completed mask drop off distribution sites, per the Riverside County Public Health Officer’s new order prohibiting all gatherings.
Although we thought this may be a possibility down the road and had thought through several alternative scenarios for kit distribution, we did not anticipate that it would come this soon.
We are disappointed to discontinue this aspect of our mask making but we all want what is best and safe for you – our volunteers!
So... What does mask making look like going forward?
We will definitely continue our efforts and organization to make 1,000 masks per day safely. This will best be accomplished through neighborhood, club and community groups that have an organizational system in place to make masks from the pre-assembled kits through to the completed product.
If you have an organization, club or neighborhood group that you or another contact can act as coordinator(s)/captains to communicate to your volunteers and oversee a process that can deliver 200 + masks per week – we would love to hear from you and work with you on setting up your network.
We know this works as we already have several clubs in our process, and they are all happy to help you set up your own organizational system that will be effective for you.
What else is changing?
Eisenhower Health Foundation has generously agreed to partner with Coachella Valley Mask Makers. We are pleased to announce that effective immediately, our efforts will be funded by the community’s gifts given to the Inland Empire Community Foundation and Eisenhower Health COVID-19 Response Fund. All masks made in the future will be given to Eisenhower to distribute at their discretion. We hope you will continue to support our efforts, by donating through the following link: www.eisenhowerhealth.org/covidfund
We wish that we could thank each of you in person for your efforts; however, that is not possible at this time. Alongside each of you, this is what we’ve accomplished in the past 21 days:
Worked through 3 different prototypes before landing on the current version
Built website where over 1,000 people have signed up to volunteer with Coachella Valley Mask Makers
Started Facebook page which now has over 700 followers
Replied to over 1800 emails
Began mask kit distribution/completed mask return at 3 sites in Palm Desert and Palm Springs
Provided materials to our volunteers to make 20,000 masks
Implemented a quality control process where volunteers have hand-checked over 5,000 masks
Secured in-kind donations from Indian Wells Golf Resort, Ace Hardware Palm Springs, Staples Palm Desert, Staples La Quinta, Lowe’s Palm Desert, Lowe’s La Quinta, Lowe’s Palm Springs, Dustin Wayne (who designed our logo) and Jeremy Simon (who has begun to retool our website)
Set up Decorator’s Depot in Rancho Mirage to accept shipments of supplies donated by individual volunteers
Collaborated with staff at both Indian Wells Golf Resort and City of Palm Springs Department of Parks and Recreation who graciously offered to put together our mask making kits to distribute to our mask makers
Brought on 18 community groups/organizations such as Sun City Shadow Hills, PGA West, The Citrus Club, Indio Women’s Club and Renaissance Esmeralda employees to make masks for us from start to finish
Responded to requests for our pattern, list of materials and step-by-step instructions from individuals/groups in 20 states, Puerto Rico, British Colombia and South Africa
We hope that you are as proud of our collective accomplishments as we are!
Our final completed mask drop offs will be as follows:
Wednesday, April 8 from 2p-3p at Freedom Park in Palm Desert
Thursday, April 9 from 10a-11a at Palm Springs Leisure Center located at 401 S. Pavilion Way
We will have a bin set up at each site for you to toss your bag of completed masks (please make sure you include the quality control card that was in your kit). One of our volunteers will be on site to wave at you from a distance and thank you for your help.
There is no way that we can possibly thank you enough for the tremendous outpouring of support that we’ve received since we started this effort and we look forward to your continuing on with us as we evolve.
Shelley Blume, Judi Britt and Kay Gerhardt