JERSEY CITY, NJ – What started out as a collective group looking to help in the fight against COVID, the Jersey City Rapid Maker Response Group (JCRMRG) recently announced the donation of 21,000 face shields to school districts in Newark, Jersey City, Hoboken, and New York.
JCRMRG is an all-volunteer group of individuals and businesses with 3D printers who organized to make face shields for first responders and medical workers in the Metro area. They decided to launch a campaign that would provide face shields to schools, and with the support of sponsors like Uber Freight, Google, Goldman Sachs, Mastercard, Good 360, and ALAN Aid, JCRMRG donated 21,000 face shields to school districts in the region.
“The Shield Our Schools initiative represents a very important mission for JCRMRG,” said Justin Handsman, founder of JCRMRG. “Schools are the new front line, and it is important to protect our teachers and communities against the spread of COVID. According to the CDC, 1 in 4 teachers have health conditions that put them in the high risk category. Nationally, 29 percent are over the age of 50. By providing teachers, school nurses, administrators, food service workers, custodians, bus drivers, administrators, and all other school staff with PPE, we can help protect families, neighborhoods, and communities.”
Each of the schools receiving donations will reportedly now have enough face shields on hand to cover every staff member currently on site, as well as all staff members when the schools officially open. The donations are meant to free up school budgetary resources to support additional safe opening measures and educational resources.
“We are so thankful for the Jersey City Rapid Maker Response Group’s donation of 12,500 face shields,” said Jason Ballard, Assistant School Business Administrator for the Newark School District. “Justin, and his team have made a remarkable contribution toward enabling our schools to provide necessary services within our community and protecting our staff.”
"The Jersey City Public Schools are extremely grateful for the Jersey City Rapid Maker Response Group’s generous donation of protective face shields,” said Francine Luce, Director - Office of Grants Jersey City Board of Education. “Thanks to your organization we will be able to equip each faculty and staff member in all of our schools by providing them with a face shield to enhance their safety during these are uncertain times. This donation will make an incredible difference in supporting our commitment to maintaining the security and well-being of everyone involved”.
In addition to JCRMRG’s donation, the American Logistics and Aid Network was instrumental in facilitating transportation for Newark’s donation via Uber Freight Services. “We are happy to support JCRMRG in their mission to keep communities safe, and connect them with logistics support, so they can maximize the impact of their donations,” said Kathy Fulton, Executive Director of ALAN Aid.
“Uber is proud to work with JCRMRG, and we will continue to partner with them as they extend their support to schools and communities throughout the country, “ Lior Ron, Head of Uber Freight. “We are inspired by what this group is doing, and their strong drive to make a difference in the communities they serve.”
Good 360 also provided additional logistics support for the 8,500 face shields that went to the entire Jersey City School District, as well as Wallace Elementary School in Hoboken, Lawrence High School in New York and additional schools in the Bronx.
“The generosity of the Jersey City Rapid Maker Response Group is appreciated,” said Martin Shannon, Principal of Hoboken’s Wallace School. “With their donation, we can provide every single teacher, and staff member with PPE that will help support a safer learning environment. The health of our teachers, students, and staff are of the highest priority.”
“We couldn’t do what we do without the support of groups like Good360, ALAN Aid, and Uber Freight - they enable us to maximize the funds that are donated to our organization,” said JCRMRG’s Handsman. “We have a backlog of requests for more than 250,000 face shields from deserving communities and healthcare facilities, and as we continue to raise funds to support this demand our logistic partners play a critical role in helping us to ensure every dollar counts.”
JCRMRG vows to continue its support schools and hospitals across the country. Additionally, beyond helping communities in need throughout the COVID crisis, the group will engage in additional projects to support STEAM/STEM education and outreach. To learn more or to donate visit jcrmrg.org.
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