Update 4: Illinois PPE Network

From my post over at our fundraising site.

Hello friends,

Over the past three weeks we have raised over $30,000 to produce tens of thousands of shields for the state of Illinois and city of Chicago. I have a few important updates for you as we continue to move forward at an increased rate:

1. We have currently raised about $35,000 from this crowdfunding campaign and received our first grant today for $25,000. About $20,000 of our current funding has been spent to fabricate over 15,000 face shields, and we plan on spending a large portion of the remainder on PET-G (polyethylene terephthalate glycol, the clear plastic that serves as the front of the face shield) and filament within the week.

2. We are working directly with the city of Chicago and Jesse Lava, chief of policy & strategic initiatives, Chicago Department of Public Health, through their United Center location to get equipment into the hands of the highest-needs areas in the city. We are also working with GetMePPE Chicago to identify hospitals in need of deliveries, including a recent large delivery to Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment Centers.

3. We have reached a new phase of production and will be developing the “Solin Flat Pack” design made by Jeff Solin, one of our organizers. In production, this will make (at a minimum) 1,800 shields per hour. We are currently operating a test run for 8,000 shields. Our only current limitation is PET-G.

4. Our work was featured in WBEZ through this story. Please share it!

5. I will be speaking to the Chicago Council on Science and Technology this Thursday to further explain our efforts and share our strategies and tactics. You can sign up for that event here:

I want to provide you with these updates for reasons of transparency, as well as to show our current progress. Your generous donations have made all of this, and more, possible. Every dollar that you donate helps people stay healthy, safe, and secure. More than that, it shows the profound generosity of humanity in times of need.

I want to share some kind words that we received over this Easter weekend from a nurse in a local hospital:

“I love your shields, now I realize I can get a snug fit; I like them better than our hospital issue. I am rolling them out to our staff and also administration and anticipate I will be asking for another shipment shortly. You have definitely earned a place in heaven for this amazing contribution to those of us working the front lines.”

Thank you for your continued contributions to this vital effort.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

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