( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Nonprofit Organization Philly Fighting COVID Mass Produces and Donates Over 2,000 Face Shields to Community Hospitals
ENSPIRE Contributor: Amanda Hirsch
Amidst these stressful and uncertain times, people are confronted with ample free time to pick up old hobbies or find new ones to pass the time with while quarantined in their homes. Some people decided to learn how to play the guitar while others found and fund a nonprofit. Drexel University student, Andrei Doroshin, used his free time to create Philly Fighting COVID, a nonprofit organization that has gathered engineers and scientists to mass-produce face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals that are running low on supplies. His team consists of students from universities in the Philadelphia area including Drexel University, Temple University, and Saint Joseph’s University. With the universities temporarily closed, students refuse to sit idly by. Rather, they have been constantly creating and shipping supplies for free to healthcare workers on the front lines of this disease.
Although Andrei has prior experience founding nonprofits, he found this nonprofit to be a little more challenging. Due to people losing their jobs or getting furloughed, he had difficulty initially receiving funding to get the organization off the ground. He was also tasked with finding creative ways to get materials such as plastic to manufacture the face shields. Despite still facing these challenges, Philly Fighting COVID has opened three different locations in Fishtown, recruited 40 volunteers to manufacture products, and has donated over 2,000 face shields to hospitals in the Philadelphia area that can no longer afford the inflated prices of PPE on the market.
Philly Fighting COVID has made partnerships with notable organizations such as Temple University COVID Task Force, Maven Agency, Volta Therapeutics, Cocco’s Pizzeria (which has been donating meals to healthcare workers) and the American Red Cross. Philly Fighting COVID recently hosted its first blood drive for the American Red Cross and plans to host more. These relationships with organizations equally as driven as Philly Fighting COVID has made their community-based approach to fighting this pandemic possible.
Andrei and his team have surpassed what they initially believed Philly Fighting COVID would have accomplished. Andrei hopes that Philly Fighting COVID will have a lasting effect after COVID-19 fades into the background.
“I want people to be inspired to do things when something goes wrong in this world.” Andrei continued, “A bunch of students came together to accomplish something, and against all odds, they did it.”
Philly Fighting COVID has definitely made an impact on the struggling hospitals in the Philadelphia community. Hopefully, community members take Andrei and his team’s journey as a source of motivation and inspiration to take action to make the world a better place.
For more information on donations, inquiries, and volunteering opportunities, please visit www.phillyfightingcovid.com