A new organization called MY HERO BOX has emerged from within the music community to ensure that healthcare workers at hospitals in the New York City area, and across the rest of the country, receive much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in order to safely combat COVID-19. Partnering with the Afya Foundation and #GetUsPPE, the #HeroBoxChallenge was designed to get every American to search their homes for unused masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, gowns, and protective eyewear, and ship these supplies to the hospitals that need them most. Using this hashtag, Eric Holljes of Delta Rae and singer/songwriters Liz Longley and Alaina Cross have sparked engagement throughout the music community, including Walt Disney Composer Alan Menken, Maggie Rose, Shannon Sanders, Brittany Holljes, Emma White, Anthony D'Amato, Anna Rose, Alice Wallace, Lydia Luce, The Young Fables, Kyshona Armstrong, Alyssa Bonagura, and many others.
Many of the supplies that doctors and nurses desperately need right now are sitting unused on shelves in households all across America; specifically, professionals in industries such as construction, painting, dentistry, nail salons, hair salons, and veterinary care could prove vital to providing unused PPE during this time of need. MY HERO BOX aims to mobilize these products to the front lines to assist the country’s most valuable resource right now: our health workers.
Founded by Patryk Larney of Hope Tree Entertainment, MY HERO BOX was born out of a conversation with Danielle Butin — the founder of the Afya Foundation. For 11 years, the Afya Foundation has responded to disasters by rescuing materials from hospitals and clinics and delivering them to health systems in need. Now, during this global pandemic, Afya has become the go-to supplier for hospitals and federally qualified health centers in the New York City area.
Larney explains, “On March 20th I had a phone conversation with a friend of mine who is working as a nurse on the frontlines in NYC to battle COVID-19. She was terrified. She explained that she had made the choice to go to work knowing the hospital doesn’t have sufficient PPE to protect her from being infected by the virus. I decided I could not sit around without taking some sort of action to help her and those like her, so I started making phone calls with the intention of discovering the most valuable message I could help circulate. It was not long before I found myself on the phone with Danielle Butin, who spoke to me through tears. Even more than monetary donations, they need actual supplies that simply don’t exist. Manufacturing timelines for PPE just can’t deliver quickly enough for their needs. And then she added: ‘What’s most frustrating is I KNOW that the very weapons I need to win this fight are collecting dust in households all across America.’”
MY HERO BOX has since evolved into a virtual movement that gives every American the opportunity to assist healthcare workers during this crisis while still remaining safely within their home. If you would like to get involved, the steps are simple: