Flexport, Arnold Schwarzenegger and others launch a fund to get supplies to front-line responders – TechCrunch

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There’s a worldwide scarcity of accessible protecting gear (PPE) and medical provides to be used by front-line responders working to battle the unfold of the novel coronavirus, and the Frontline Responders Fund desires to channel donations to assist handle that scarcity. The fund, which is in search of public donations by way of GoFundMe, will use all proceeds to cowl the prices of transportation of those essential provides to the hospitals, clinics and public companies that want them most.

Flexport is facilitating the deliveries by way of their provide chain administration platform and providers, and is receiving donations by way of their grant-making accomplice Charities Add Basis of America (CAF), which facilitates the acceptance of charitable donations for, Flexport’s NGO for social good initiatives.

Already, Flexport has been taking steps to get gear the place it’s wanted most: final week, it obtained 60,000 surgical masks, 34,000 gloves, 2,000 surgical robes and 50 thermometers from MedShare to San Francisco’s Division of Public Well being. However the group desires to do extra, each for SF and for different cites in which are on the lookout for methods to shore up their very own provides.

“My neighbor is on the board of supervisors and he or she instructed me town actually wanted assist,” Flexport CEO Ryan Petersen stated by way of e mail earlier this week. “Naturally our staff stepped in and utilized our data of provide chains and logistics plus a protracted standing partnership with to get them PPE shortly. Now we’re scaling that effort to get extra provides for SF in addition to different cities and hospitals which are additionally in determined want.”

The funds made accessible by way of this fundraising effort will go to securing not solely PPE, but additionally “testing kits, thermometers, ventilators and medicines,” in accordance with the venture’s GoFundMe web page, based mostly on what medical service suppliers deem to be highest precedence by way of want.

Petersen says that successfully all of his time now’s centered on logistics to assist these ongoing efforts, and it appears to be like prefer it’ll stay that method for the foreseeable future.

Different organizations, together with Apple, and now SoftBank, have been donating giant volumes of N95 respirators, a key piece of front-line protecting gear. Flexport’s work may facilitate continued provide, leveraging their provide chain relationships, to make sure that gear makes its technique to front-line workers as quick because it’s capable of be produced.

Donations will be made directly through the fund’s GoFundMe page, and the full raised is sitting at slightly below $three million as of this writing — helped largely by sizable donations from Silicon Valley leaders together with Paul Graham, Jack Dorsey and Ron Conway, in addition to celebrities together with Edward Norton and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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