Community PPE for NYC





In New York, there are over 250,000 confirmed COVID-related cases and 15,000 deaths – contributing 31% of all deaths in the US. New York City is the hardest hit COVID-19 region in the world. COVID-19 has impacted the lives of every New Yorker, and now more than ever, New Yorkers need Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to help save the city.

The Community PPE initiative aims to provide free, essential medical grade supplies to NYC communities that need it most in order to lessen the spread of COVID-19 and to provide relief to NYC’s hardest hit areas. 


Our primary focus is to bring much needed PPE to communities that need it most. To start with, we will be donating PPE to:

  1. NYC First Responders: FDNY, NYPD & EMS all have announced that they are experiencing dire shortages of respirators, surgical masks, face shields and additional equipment.
  2. Essential Service Workers: Essential Service Workers are the backbone of the fight against COVID, providing much needed resources to the community. Our fellow workers are experiencing PPE shortages across the board, and by protecting them, we will greatly limit the spread of COVID-19.
  3. NYCHA Housing + Marginalized Communities: NYCHA Housing is one of the hardest hit areas of NYC, and they additionally lack enough resources to battle the pandemic. Senior centers, nursing homes, immigrant communities, citizens experiencing homelessness, and marginalized areas like the South Bronx, Queensbridge Housing Projects, Elmhurt & Bensonhurst are among the hardest hit areas. Read more on Time’s article “Data Suggests Many New York City Neighborhoods Hardest Hit by COVID-19 Are Also Low-Income Areas

We are partnering with city offices, neighborhood organizations, and advocacy groups to ensure that NYC families have adequate PPE to protect themselves against the contagion of COVID-19. We aim to serve all 5 boroughs of NYC, and partner with key community organizations to drive tailored neighborhood solutions.


The COVID Foundation will expand its already successfully proven supply and distribution model to bring PPE beyond hospital workers to arm New Yorkers with PPE Care Packages.

A $15 donation will provide a Family of Four (4) with a 2-week supply of medical-grade surgical masks, nitrile gloves, and hand sanitizers.

A $15 donation will provide each Essential Worker with a 2-week supply of medical-grade surgical masks, nitrile gloves, and hand sanitizers.

A $15 donation, will provide each First Responder with medical-grade N95/KN95 respirator, face shield, nitrile gloves, and hand sanitizers.


The COVID Foundation is a 501(c)3 Fiscally Sponsored non-profit that focuses on providing humanitarian relief in the fight against COVID-19. We provide PPE to the communities who need it most. Started by NYC native Ben Wei on March 12th 2020, the Foundation has quickly become a platform for PPE distribution, funding efforts, partnerships and exchanges on issues related to COVID-19. It is 100% volunteer-run.

The COVID Foundation’s Founder, Ben Wei, previously launched the “A Million Masks Campaign” which has raised $600,000+ to date and donated 15,000+ surgical respirators to 25+ of NYC’s most overwhelmed hospitals to protect frontline hospital workers.   

We are a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, receiving fiscal sponsorship from the Giving Back Fund.


Ben Wei

Founder & Executive Director

Ben Wei is a non-profit founder and tech entrepreneur, born and raised in NYC. He is a graduate of Harvard University and went on to launch Access Code (now known as, a 501(c)3 nonprofit focused on providing in-demand coding to underserved communities. He is also the Founder & Executive Director of the “A Million Masks” Campaign and the Global Chairman for Harvard in Tech.

Rainbow Wong

Director of Operations

Rainbow is an expert in operational excellence, risk management, and fund allocation. She previously served as a Vice President in JP Morgan’s Chief Investment Office. Rainbow also participated as a volunteer educator for Apex for Youth, a 501c3 non-profit providing educational programming for marginalized youth in NYC. 

Joe Kerns

Director of NYC Programs

Joe Kerns leads a business operations team at Facebook. He is also a Board Member and member of the Economic Development Committee of Manhattan Community Board 3, serving the LES, Chinatown and the East Village. He was part of the inaugural Five Borough Future fellowship, where he co-founded the NYC Community Board Project. which helped drive a more diverse membership of the 59 community boards across NYC.

Our Most Recent Donation:

15,000 Respirators to 25+ Hospitals in NYC

Need PPE delivered to your organization?


Why NYC first?

NYC is currently the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only are the hospitals overwhelmed with patients and face the shortage of PPE, city dwellers equally face the shortage of PPE. Since NYC has a high density of population, the lack of available PPE threatens the health and livelihood of first responders, essential workers, senior citizens, low-income households, multi-generational households, the list goes on.

What does 2 weeks supply for a family of 4 exactly equate to?

We will package and provide 10 surgical masks, 10 pairs of gloves and while supplies last, 2 small bottles of hand sanitizer. We have a two week goal as it generally takes 14 days for the virus to incubate and be treated before next steps have to be made. A two week care package will help prevent spread within the family.

What does success look like? 

If we can save one New York family from being infected, we consider ourselves successful. If a family member is infected, that means they have a high chance of contagion to other family members in their household and to people they interact with in their community. Our current primary goal is to provide PPE to as many families in New York City.

What have you accomplished so far?

The COVID Foundation has successfully purchased, imported, and donated

  • 20,000+ Respirators for 25+ Hospitals In NYC
  • 14,000 disposable masks for prisoners and guards in Rikers Island in New York
  • 8,000 disposable masks for prisoners and guards in Kings County Jail in Washington

By doing so, we have proven that we can::

(1) Access a vetted, global supply chain of FDA-certified factories that produce US health grade PPE (such as NIOSH-approved N95 Respirators). Access to these factories means that we are able to acquire a wide range of PPE quickly and at competitive rates.  
(2) Build a comprehensive database of major hospitals in the NYC area and are in touch with many of the Chief Physicians of their Emergency Rooms & ICUs to understand their immediate needs. Expanding this database to Community PPE for NYC, we would source information on PPE needs from our community partners to prioritize on need.
(3) An effective distribution strategy in which we leverage our partners’ deep understanding of constituents and distribution support to provide as many PPE to New Yorkers as quickly as possible. 

How do you prioritize who receives PPE? 
By partnering with neighborhood offices, advocacy groups, alliances, and city offices, we can identify the communities in greatest need and work with our partners to distribute free PPE to their constituents as quickly and effectively as possible. 

How will the funds be used? 
Our funds will go to facilitating the purchase and delivery of PPE to NYC communities that need it most. We minimize our administrative overhead to well below non-profit industry standards so that we can maximize impact and program contributions.

Are donations tax-deductible? 
Yes, donations are tax-deductible. We are a registered 501(c)3 organization, receiving fiscal sponsorship from the Giving Back Fund. Our EIN is: 04-3367888

I’ve seen other charity efforts related to COVID-19. How is this one different? 

Your donation will go directly to support the acquisition of surgical masks and gloves from FDA-certified factories.  We have direct relationships with global manufacturers that ensure that your donation is acquired at cost with no distributor (middlemen) markups. Our foundation is currently volunteer run, so your donation pays for the PPE and at most 10% administrative fees (fees related to maintaining webpage, car rentals for distribution, and legal fees), and nothing else.

Aside from donations, how can we help? 
Feel free to follow us on Instagram @covidfoundation or share our cause with your friends!  

  • If you have a direct relationship with PPE manufacturers that can provide equipment at market costs, you can e-mail us at with a subject headline “PPE Equipment Manufacturer”.
  • If you are a member of the press or would like to connect us with a member of the press, you can e-mail us with a subject headline “Press Contact” to 

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