“They asked me if I was a representative from a company and I told them that it was a collective effort of artists, craftspeople and people from our community who wanted to help.”

Local film production artist Jessica Wegrzyn is reminding us we can do more than just stay home. Amidst a sudden shutdown of so many industries including her own, she didn’t lament. She did what she could and asked her network of other artists to do theirs. That’s a Buffalo citizen move, folks.

ECMC is seeking any N95 and Non-N95 mask donations, and N95 masks that are in high need include 3M, 1860 model, sizes regular and small.
To contact ECMC, contact hospitalcommandcenter@ecmc.edu or call 716-898-3844.

“I realized I had cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, alcohol and most importantly protective masks and gloves in my work kit. I work as a textile artist in film meaning I breakdown the clothing to make things look old and lived in so I use a lot of toxic chemicals. I worked a big job last summer and had left over supplies. I opened bins that were stored away for my next job, jobs that I knew wouldn’t be coming any time soon. My heart fell into my stomach when I realized that I had a box of unopened n95 masks and a box of vinyl gloves. It honestly felt like I won the lottery. I think I screamed.”

“It hit me that many other crafts people, artists and makers probably had this kind of stuff at home so I just threw up a post on my personal, private instagram and within a couple hours a dozen people reached out and even more people shared my post. I didn’t even know where to donate them. My friend works at ECMC and posted that they were going to run out really soon and listed a very specific list of what they were looking for so I used his list as a resource and just started collecting donations. By Sunday I had a trunk full of masks and and gloves and more and more people were reaching out and sharing my post, offering to buy me a tank of gas. It honestly blew me away.”

“Everyone just wants to help. I know not everyone wants to risk going to make the donation for health reasons or they can’t because they are working from home and some are juggling their new role as their children’s teacher. I don’t have a job, I’m healthy and have a car so I just figured I would pick up people’s donations. People left them on porches or they threw them in my window and I picked them up without any contact. I want to keep doing it as long as people keep finding hidden stashes.”

“My friend at ECMC told me that they received notice that they can start wearing masks as they usually do starting tonight because their supply is up. I know they got huge donations from manufacturing companies but I know that all these private donations made an impact as well. More than that, it’s that people are coming together to do whatever they can to help people at the front lines of this crisis and I think it means a lot to the people out there literally saving peoples lives to know that the rest of us have their backs and are doing whatever we can.”

“ECMC is asking for procedure masks (the ones that look like accordion or blinds) and N95 masks, non latex gloves, disposable coveralls. Same deal from Kaleida Health and Roswell.”

“The box is what I found at Torn Space Theatre. I took it to share with my collaborators as a morale booster. I didn’t take a ton of photos – I just kept moving! The blue masks were used in our production of Storehouse. I will 100% keep picking up supplies if people keep finding them. In the meantime I’m making cotton masks to send to NYC where they are getting hit the hardest.”

Thank you, Jess! And those who went out of their way to deliver supplies to her, or directly to local hospitals. If our healthcare workers go down, we all go down. They, and the people supporting them, are real-life heroes at a time like this.