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Global Links Leads Regional Collaborative Effort to Manufacture and Distribute Protective Equipment to Safety Net Organizations and Nonprofits

Organizations providing care to seniors, low income, homeless and other vulnerable populations in urgent need of face masks and shields for their workers and those they serve


(PITTSBURGH) April 20, 2020 --  Local humanitarian medical aid organization Global Links is leading a collaborative effort to source, manufacture and distribute emergency masks, face shields, gloves and gowns to local safety net organizations and other nonprofits to protect their workers and the vulnerable communities in their care.

The effort leverages Global Links’ 30 years of experience in managing and distributing donations of health care supplies locally and globally but has pivoted the organization’s focus to include working with local makers and manufacturers to bulk produce and distribute emergency masks and face shields.

“As economic hardship and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to expand across our region, nonprofits that provide care to our region’s seniors, low income, homeless, immigrant and at-risk groups are under high demand for their services but do not have the financial resources or buying power to purchase necessary equipment at reasonable prices,” says Global Links Executive Director Angela Garcia. “Through the generous support of local foundations, Global Links has been able to collaborate with local makeshops and manufacturers to place large orders of masks and face shields, which we are already distributing to nonprofits across the region.”

More than 75,000 pieces of protective equipment have already been distributed and more than 80 safety net, senior care and nonprofit organizations are receiving or in the pipeline to receive donationsincluding Bethlehem Haven, North Side Christian Health Center, Operation Safety Net, East Liberty Family Health Care Center, Jewish Association on Aging, Latino Community Center, Pressley Ridge, Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship & Veteran’s Home, Vincentian Marian Manor and others. 

Funding grants from the Henry L. Hillman Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, The Richard King Mellon Foundation and others are underwriting the cost of purchasing high-quality masks and face shields from local manufacturers, including ProtoHaven, based in Wilkinsburg, and Day Owl, based in Homewood, both of whom employ a local workforce and employ quality control measures. A local textile manufacturer that regularly produces hospital textiles, including sheets and pillowcases, will also be producing face masks for Global Links. 

“Our region’s frontline safety net organizations employ large numbers of caregivers who serve even larger numbers of vulnerable individuals and families,” said Grant Oliphant, President of The Heinz Endowments. “These agencies and their staff are working courageously to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus among those under their care and we welcome the opportunity to support this critically important initiative.”

Global Links will utilize its 58,000 square-foot distribution center in Green Tree, which currentlyhandles all types of medical inventory, to process and manage distribution.

 “Global Links is critical in providing much needed equipment and materials to health and human services organizations in the Pittsburgh region. Their expertise in managing logistics and distribution and willingness to help in this crisis is indispensable,” said Henry L. Hillman Foundation President David K. Roger.

"The Richard King Mellon Foundation is working hard to provide immediate support for our heroic frontline health-care providers, and ongoing support for the makers who will be an important engine for our economic recovery. Funding this effort with a respected organization such as Global Links enables us to do more of both," said Richard King Mellon Foundation Director Sam Reiman.

Nonprofit organizations that are in need of personal protective equipment and are located in the seven-county region of Southwestern Pennsylvania can contact Global Links at communitypartners@globallinks.org to make a request.

Global Links is a medical relief and development organization dedicated to supporting health improvement initiatives in resource-poor communities, primarily in the Western Hemisphere. Global Links collaborates with U.S. healthcare institutions and the community to rescue hundreds of tons of high-quality surplus medical materials every year that would otherwise be sent to landfills. These materials are shared with public health facilities around the world and with non-profit organizations in Western Pennsylvania that are providing care for their community’s most vulnerable people. For more information, visit www.globallinks.orgGlobal Links. Sharing Surplus. Saving Lives.



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