GREENSBORO, N.C. — It may be the strangest and cutest distribution line in Greensboro. The white picket fence that surrounds Paige Cox’s home doubles as a supply circulation location. Every few days, Cox places face shield supplies in a bag and puts them on the fence for volunteers to pick up and assemble. Once the masks are made, they are hung back on the fence for Cox to send out to health care and nursing facilities across the nation.
“It’s the least we can do,” Cox said.
The grassroots PPEopleBrigade production and distribution chapter has delivered thousands of shields and face masks. It has also become so successful that chapters have popped up in three other states and Canada.
“It’s the power of the people. I think our community is really good about that,” Cox said.
A couple of months ago, Cox was looking for some extra help, so she reached out to Perri Kersh.
“It feels good, in a very small way we are contributing and helping,” said Kersh.
Kersh, who now heads up the Durham chapter, is Cox’s older sister. When her sister called and needed some help with fundraising it was an easy decision.
“I saw an opportunity to help my little sister a bit, so I helped her do some fundraising and getting additional supplies,” said Kersh.
The one-time “small” face shield and mask assembly and distribution campaign now has similar operations going in Texas, Tennessee, Ohio, and Canada.
“All kinds of places are coming to us saying we don’t have enough face shields for our health care providers so we are still shipping and delivering,” said Kersh.
In the past month, the two groups here in North Carolina have sent face shields and masks to health care providers in Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, and New York. The groups are also sending thousands of protective shields to different Native American tribes.
“We kept hearing their stories about how they just weren’t getting what they needed,” said Kersh.
The entire operation is volunteer-based, and all the money raised goes to buying more supplies. The group is not sure how much longer they will continue to make and distribute shields to health care providers. Kersh said as long as they have the money and people are still willing to help make them, they will distribute the shields.
It also appears the group may start making shields for educators depending upon what the upcoming school year brings.