March 25, 2020

How to Donate Personal Protective Equipment to Health Care Workers In Need

Source:  NYSUT Program Services
n95 mask
Caption: Photo illustration by Getty Images.

As part of NYSUT’s response to COVID-19, we are encouraging those who can donate personal protective equipment to do so. Many of us may have access to personal protective equipment either in science labs at your school or university or through a personal connection.

We hope you find this guidance useful as you embark on collecting and donating these very much needed pieces of equipment.  

What should you be collecting?

Our communities need the following items:

  • N95, N99, N100 respirators. (Please note that the FDA has approved using non-healthcare-designated respirators for healthcare)
  • PAPRs (powered air purifying respirators)
  • half-mask or full-facepiece elastomeric respirators
  • nitrile gloves
  • surgical masks
  • goggles/face shields
  • facemasks
  • surgical gowns
  • hand sanitizer

Please note that the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health does not support the use of hand-sewn masks as acceptable respiratory protection for healthcare workers, under any circumstance. Therefore, these items are not included in our coordinated donation effort.   

Who should you be working with?

It is important to work with your community throughout all stages of this efforts. First and foremost, if you intend to collect these items from your school or university, you must first connect with the appropriate people in your school’s administration. Be mindful that items from schools/universities are public goods, the support of your administration is necessary.

Next, begin outreach to identify where in your community donations can be dropped off. Your County Executive is a great place to start ( Many counties are coordinating with local police departments and/or the local fire departments. They may be connected to your area’s Emergency Preparedness Center and already doing this work. These centers can help you and your district with logistics and regulations they’ll need to successfully make your donation.

How can NYSUT help?

Our Regional Political Organizers are ready and waiting to help you coordinate this work. If you need help connecting with county emergency centers and/or encounter obstacles to collecting this equipment and making the donation, please contact your RPO.

Not sure who your RPO is? Click here:

What other resources are out there?

Additionally, you can visit the following websites. These sites have compiled information on people accepting donations, statewide as well as nationally.

Make sure you inspire others!

Once you donate, make sure to take pictures and share your work so you can inspire others by tagging @NYSUT on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and by using the hashtag #NYSUTStrong.