“We started the campaign with the goal to raise $50,000, and within less than 48 hours we surpassed that number,” said Griffiths.
Now, almost two weeks later, the GoFundMe campaign is sitting at more than $160,000 with an additional donation matching initiative by the Robert Kerr Foundation, a Toronto-based organization that addresses the basic and urgent needs to improve the lives of children and the homeless.
The foundation has made an immediate contribution of $100,000 and will contribute another $100,000 as part of its donation matching initiative. In the matching program, every dollar raised for a frontline healthcare worker will also equal a dollar raised for a homeless shelter or drop-in centre in the GTA.
“People who experience homelessness are a vulnerable group. They live in environments conducive to infectious disease, have exposed immune systems from underlying health conditions and are often transient, making it difficult to prevent transmission,” said Bri Trypuc, executive direction of the Robert Kerr Foundation.
Griffiths started the GoFundMe campaign after her speaking to her brother Chris, who is a physician at a hospital in Hamilton. He mentioned that PPE supplies were running low and Griffiths was looking for a way for Knix to help.
Since the campaign started, $150,000 has been raised through community donations that have allowed for the purchase of more than 200,000 units of PPE. The units include items such as 40,000 N95 masks, 50,000 surgical masks and 110,000 pairs of gloves.
Healthcare institutions can fill out a private PPE registry form to request supplies. So far, the campaign has received requests from more than 225 hospitals and clinics across Canada.
Knix was able to mobilize their supplier base to gain access to much-needed medical-grade masks and gloves for frontline healthcare workers. The company is also subsidizing all transportation and distribution costs for the supplies.
The first PPE shipment was made on Mar. 24 to a partner organization in Alberta and further fulfillments will cover organizations across five provinces.
“It is a crucial time for our community to come together for the common good. After understanding the severity of the issue, we immediately contacted our suppliers to see if they could help and the answer was ‘Yes,'” said Griffiths. “The feedback for this campaign has been truly overwhelming and goes beyond a monetary value. Canadians are rallying together to support our nation’s selfless frontline workers.”
To contribute to the PPE GoFundMe campaign or to make a formal request for supplies, please visit: knix.com/donate.