Groundbreaking Cross-Sector Collaboration Delivers 100,000+ Masks to Shelters and Survivors in Need
June 24, 2020
The National Network to End Domestic Violence, the Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence, the Sexual Assault Resource Sharing Project, and the Deaf Anti-Violence Coalition Join Forces with ProCure Hope, Women Moving Millions, and WeWork to Ensure that Survivors and Advocates Are Protected during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Washington, DC – June 24, 2020
Today, the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), the Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence (ATCEV), the Sexual Assault Resource Sharing Project (RSP), and the Deaf Anti-Violence Coalition (DAVC), in partnership with ProCure Hope and WeWork, announce the donation of more than 100,000 surgical masks and face shields to domestic violence, sexual assault, dual, and tribal coalitions and local programs across the United States. Advocates are working tirelessly to serve survivors during the COVID-19 pandemic and need personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to do so safely.
“Domestic violence programs and advocates are working around the clock to provide life-saving shelter, counseling, and other support services to survivors and their children. As the pandemic continues to strain resources, we know that these programs simply do not have the time or money to search for the hard-to-find personal protective equipment they so desperately need,” said Deborah J. Vagins, President and CEO of NNEDV. “NNEDV is deeply grateful to Women Moving Millions for connecting us with ProCure Hope and WeWork, who are providing over 100,000 surgical masks and face shields. Because of their leadership, advocates finally can gain access to these critical supplies so they can focus on supporting the survivors who depend on them for safety.”
NNEDV has consistently heard from its members—the 56 state and territorial coalitions—about the pressing need for PPE during the pandemic. In early April, on behalf of the coalitions, NNEDV communicated with Women Moving Millions, whose leadership (including members of the Plum Alley Task Force) was able to mobilize immediately, connecting NNEDV with ProCure Hope and WeWork to deliver relief for advocates and survivors across the country.
“The need for organizations to work together in support of public health has never been more critical than it is right now. At Women Moving Millions, we leverage our networks for social change,” said Mona Sinha, Board Chair of Women Moving Millions. “We were grateful to facilitate this partnership to support the professionals on the front lines who work tirelessly every day to support those survivors who rely on the essential services provided by domestic violence shelters, rape crisis facilities, and other programs.”
Key to getting these masks and face shields into the hands of local programs was ProCure Hope, a 501(c)3 non-profit, formed by a small team of professionals spanning the United States and Asia who volunteer their time to fundraise for, source, and donate desperately-needed PPE to front-line workers. ProCure Hope’s volunteers have invested over 120 hours in this substantial effort to sort, label, and mail more than 100,000 masks to over 2,200 organizations.
“ProCure Hope’s mission is to get PPE to essential front line organizations,” said Joni Bessler, Co-President and Director of ProCure Hope. “We are immensely grateful to those who are putting themselves at risk daily and enabling the rest of us to stay safe. While we are donating to hospitals, we are especially concerned about those groups that have more limited access to help, including nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, homeless youth, and shelters. During the current COVID crisis, these organizations continue to operate and provide essential services 24/7 to survivors and their children. Donating and delivering masks to the NNEDV network was a time-intensive task, but one that ProCure Hope was proud to fulfill.”
Women Moving Millions sourced the masks through a gracious donation made by global workspace company WeWork, who shipped them to ProCure Hope for distribution. “We are honored to collaborate with ProCure Hope in support of NNEDV and its affiliates during this critical time,” said Hamid Hashemi, Chief Product & Experience Officer at WeWork. “WeWork is committed to making a positive impact within our communities and we hope this donation will better equip those on the front lines of the COVID-19 relief efforts, so that they can continue to effectively support those most in need.”
The resilience of local domestic violence programs, especially in the face of overwhelming challenges, is not new. Since stay-at-home orders have begun taking effect across the country, programs have developed unique solutions for ensuring the continuous delivery of the services upon which survivors and their children rely.
In Indian Country and Alaska, COVID has highlighted the disparities and weaknesses in the federal response to violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women. Some tribal communities have declared states of emergency and/or closed their borders to limit exposure. Other tribal communities have become further isolated, lacking in basic sanitation, food and water supplies. A lack of internet accessibility has also proven challenging in the delivery of tele-advocacy. Despite the challenges, tribal programs and advocates have answered the call and continued delivering critical services. “Knowing that tribal programs did not have to spend their time and energy competing with states and healthcare organizations to obtain basic PPE alleviated a huge burden and allowed the tribal programs to focus on solutions in domestic violence advocacy,” said Dawn Stover, Executive Director of ATCEV.
While substantial needs remain—and will continue beyond the COVID-19 pandemic—support from organizations like ProCure Hope ensures that domestic violence organizations and advocates can continue their critical work. Advocates working to end domestic and sexual violence have continued to support survivors during COVID.
“This incredible collaborative effort has meant that rape crisis centers across the country now have access to at least a beginning source of PPE that they were previously struggling to find, allowing their work to respond to the needs of sexual violence survivors to move forward with safety for staff and survivors who require in-person advocacy and support,” said Cat Fribley, Director of the Sexual Assault Resource Sharing Project, adding that “the swiftness of identifying a need and creating a collaboration to begin to address it has been astounding and we are so grateful to ProCure Hope and other supporters for their proactive support of survivors and programs that serve them.”
In addition to more than 100,000 surgical masks, ProCure Hope has sourced 250 face shields for members of the Deaf Anti-Violence Coalition (DAVC) to support local domestic violence and sexual assault programs that serve Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, and Hard of Hearing (DDBDDHH) survivors. These face shields increase accessibility for survivors who communicate using sign language, which includes grammar and tone that is conveyed through mouth movements and facial expressions.
“Addressing and including the needs of DDBDDHH survivors is critical to ensuring that marginalized survivors have access to culturally-responsive services,” said Avi Haimowitz, Advocate/Executive Director of Deaf Overcoming Violence through Empowerment (DOVE). “During these unique pandemic times, many of our most underserved survivors face even higher risks of violence, along with increased barriers to safety.”
NNEDV, RSP, ATCEV, and DAVC are humbled by the outpouring of generosity in the past several months alone, and by every donor and supporter who champions this work year-round.
“The way in which these organizations were able to come together and deliver these masks and face shields is extraordinary,” said Cindy Southworth, Executive Vice President of NNEDV. “It is a testament to the importance of listening to the needs of front-line programs and advocates, so we can equip them to center and support the survivors they serve.”
The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), a nonprofit charitable organization, is a leading voice against violence. NNEDV is dedicated to creating a social, political, and economic environment in which domestic violence no longer exists. NNEDV’s members include the 56 state and U.S. territorial coalitions against domestic violence, which have more than 2,000 local programs. NNEDV is a premiere national organization that has worked to advance the movement against domestic violence for thirty years, having led efforts to pass the landmark Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and to reauthorize and strengthen countless laws and regulations to increase safety and end violence. To learn more about NNEDV, please visit www.NNEDV.org.
The Alliance of Tribal Coalitions to End Violence (ATCEV), a nonprofit organization established in 2013 by and for tribal coalition leaders, works to advance tribal sovereignty and the safety of American Indian and Alaska Native women by providing support to tribal coalitions and tribal communities in their efforts to address equal justice for survivors of violence. For more information on the ATCEV, you can find us on the web at www.ATCEV.org.
The Deaf Anti-Violence Coalition (DAVC) is a national organization committed to ending power based personal violence, including but not limited to: domestic violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, and human trafficking within Deaf communities. The Coalition shall focus its energies on supporting anti-oppression, anti-violence, and social justice endeavors. The Coalition centers this work from a Deaf perspective, creating deep cultural and linguistic capacity for all members of Deaf communities.
ProCure Hope is a 501(c)3 non-profit, formed by a small team of professionals spanning the United States and Asia who volunteer their time to fundraise for, source, and donate desperately-needed PPE to front-line workers. Learn more at www.procurehope.org.
The Resource Sharing Project (RSP) was created in 1997 to help sexual assault coalitions and programs across the country access the resources they need in order to develop and thrive as they work to support survivors and end sexual violence. RSP provides TA and Training to State and Territory Sexual Assault Coalitions, Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) Administrators and other SASP recipients, and also works with other partners to implement field-wide projects that support healing services for survivors of sexual violence.
Women Moving Millions is a global organization that catalyzes unprecedented resources to advance women and girls for a gender equal world.