As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, GreaterGood has been working hard to do its part to bring masks and other personal protective equipment to frontline workers and essential employees in the U.S. and across the globe.

Our original goal was to donate one million masks to those who need them most. Not only did we meet and surpass that goal within a few short months, but now we’ve also reached our follow-up goal to donate two million masks, with over one million of those masks going to healthcare workers.

“A year ago, I did not know the meaning of the acronym PPE; but in response to the greatest public health crisis of our lifetime, our buyers were able to source life-saving N-95 and KN-95 masks in China, starting in March,” says GreaterGood CEO Tim Kunin. “Unfortunately, PPE is still in short supply, so our customers and staff responded. We set a goal for delivering 1 million masks, and then passed it. We have now passed the 2 million mask mark, with protective equipment being given to front-line workers especially in nursing homes and health centers, where inadequate PPE has been a vector for infections and deaths.”

Photo: Adobe Stock/Shotmakers

So far, donations have made their way to medical professionals, elder care workers, staff and volunteers at animal shelters and wildlife sanctuaries, food service workers who aid vulnerable populations, and other frontline heroes. Thanks to the support of generous people like you, these men and women are able to safely continue their vital work helping people, pets, and the planet.

GreaterGood has made mask donations in almost every state and in other countries, such as Mexico and Armenia. Masks have also been delivered to Native American health services organizations, border areas between Texas and Mexico, and a health clinic for refugees waiting to enter the U.S.

Photo: GreaterGood’s 3-Ply Disposable Face Mask

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“We have now given civilian quality masks in almost every state, especially to animal shelters, teachers and food distribution workers; although the bulk of our PPE was of medical quality, which was reserved for nursing homes, health clinics and hospitals,” says Kunin. “Our staff at our fulfillment center in Michigan have become expert at receiving and sending PPE, with a shipment of 100,000 masks going to Tulane and associated hospitals in New Orleans just yesterday, (after we passed the 2M mark). We have already ordered an additional 1M medical masks, because our customers and staff want to make a difference and save the lives until a vaccine is fully rolled out.”

Mr. Kunin continues, “I am exceptionally proud of our team and customers who have continued to help heal the world, in response to the pandemic. This is especially meaningful now because of Christmas and Hanukkah; with PPE desperately needed in response to the recent surge of COVID-19 cases. COVID-19 is once again the leading cause of death in the USA and has now killed more Americans than died on the battlefields of WWII; with case counts having doubled in the last two months.

One of the organizations that have received masks from GreaterGood is Bernie’s Book Bank. This non-profit is dedicated to serving under-served infants, toddlers, and school-age children throughout Chicagoland who do not have access to many books to help them keep up with their peers in school.

Photo: Bernie’s Book Bank
Volunteer Services Director, Casey, gladly shows off her GreaterGood mask at a Book Drop.

Since the start of the pandemic, team members and volunteers at Bernie’s Book Bank have been using masks internally at their packing facility and team office and also when interacting with the public at fundraising events.

“Our team takes all necessary precautions to ensure a healthy work environment which in turn allows us to continue to serve children with books during this time,” Bernie’s Book Bank stated in their grant report. “Many of the children we serve depend on us now more than ever as school closures and lack of internet access prevents them from keeping up with their peers in better-funded communities. Thanks to your generous grant, you are helping under-served children read their way to a better life!”

This year, Bernies’ Book Bank has limited the number of donations of used books they were able to accept in order to maintain the safety of team members, volunteers, and book donors. Mask donations enabled them to host more book drop events and to allow more volunteers to help collect and process the books.

Photo: Bernie’s Book Bank
The Bernie’s Book Bank team members pose with some of their 50 Hour Club volunteers
at the Glen Ellyn Book Drop Event, which brought in nearly 15,000 gently used books.

“We were so excited to receive this generous grant as it alleviates Bernie’s Book Bank from spending our limited resources,” the grant report continues. “Face masks are vital tools required by all team members and volunteers both in our facility and at off-site locations such as book drop events. Your generosity has allowed us to commit to these events as we continue to collect, process, and distribute new and gently-used children’s books to Chicagoland children who need them most.”

The employees and volunteers at Bernie’s Book Bank may not strike you as typical essential frontline workers, but we believe in the importance of literacy as a tool that has a profound impact on the rest of a person’s life. We’re proud to support those who are helping others achieve brighter futures!

“Thanks to your generous grant you are helping under-served children read their way to a better life!” says Bernie’s Book Bank. “On behalf of our entire organization: THANK YOU! We are so grateful for GreaterGood’s ongoing support and generosity.”

Photo: CUHCC at the University of Minnesota

Another organization that recently started receiving masks is the Community-University Health Care Center at the University of Minnesota. This organization helps keep students and community members healthy, and the mask donations will help keep the roughly 250 staff members and their patients safe so the center can continue providing medical, behavioral health, dental, and community services outreach.

“I wanted to send a quick note to say thank you,” writes Catherine McGlinch, associate vice president of the Medical School at the University of Minnesota Foundation. “The first round of masks was received at CUHCC as you know last week. And Monday the KN-95 masks were received as well. The clinic is absolutely thrilled. I hope these [photos] show the gratitude on the faces of the team who are wearing them.”

Photo: CUHCC at the University of Minnesota

So what’s next for GreaterGood, now that we’ve donated more than two million masks? Well, we’re happy to report that we won’t stop giving where it’s needed anytime soon. As long as the COVID-19 pandemic and the need for PPE continues, GreaterGood will still be sending masks to frontline heroes and wherever else they can be of use.

We’ve hit the two million mask mark, but with your help, we hope to mask a million more! That’s right. Our next goal will be to donate three million masks to frontline workers and essential employees, and we’ll keep on donating for as long as there’s a need.

You can help people on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic and help us fund more medical masks by purchasing items from our online stores, which helps fund even more medical masks. Shop for masks for yourself and look for the “Give a Mask” symbol, letting you know a purchase of that product also triggers a mask donation!

Photo: GreaterGood’s Paws Aplenty 3-Ply Disposable Face Mask

You can also click the button on each of our Click to Give sites daily to trigger a donation from our sponsors to help people, pets, and the planet. During the pandemic, we’re increasing the number of times you can click up to eight times a day (once every three hours) per site. Every additional click will fund disaster relief efforts like donating supplies for overburdened animal shelters, protective gear for front line healthcare workers, and food for those who are struggling. Below are the links to each of our click-to-give sites.

Please also check out our COVID-19 response page to see how we’re helping during the pandemic and visit our Mask a Million More page to learn more about our mask donation project and some ways you can help.

GreaterGood is honored to support the lifesaving efforts of staff members and volunteers at charity organizations across the country. Keep up the great work, everyone!

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