Hong Kong to NYC: Mask Circuit 中文版 | FAQ

Introduction

New York City has become a worldwide epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis. Currently, masks are far more available in Hong Kong than in New York. This initiative is to send masks from Hong Kong to New York City ASAP, by crowdfunding to funnel supplies sourced by Hong Kongers and factories to frontline healthcare workers, frontline wage workers, indigenous communities, individuals and communities that are immunocompromised.

This is a DIY supply network. We would be grateful for any donations to help cover the costs of masks and expedited international shipping. Please consider donating by increments of $10, $25, $50 to $100. We want to continue the supply flowing indefinitely, and every bit helps to make this running as frequently as possible. THANK YOU! (FYI: We set this up on a Google Doc to bypass GoFundMe fees.)

Transparency

Check out our progress. For questions please contact:

Tiffany Sia (HK) tiffany.sia@gmail.com 

Leo Goldsmith (NYC) leogoldsmith@gmail.com

To donate funds

PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/TiffanySia OR https://paypal.me/wilfredwchan

PayPal via email: tiffany.sia@gmail.com 

Venmo: @tiffany-sia OR @wilfredwchan

PayMe: https://payme.hsbc/t1ffany4scale

Note: Please mark Venmo or PayPal payments with “HK NYC MASK.”

To donate supplies in Hong Kong

Our priority is on ASTM-rated surgical masks. Contact Ysabelle Cheung to arrange pick up / drop off: ysabelle.cheung@gmail.com If you have N95 masks, please consider donating them to Hong Kong public hospitals.

To help

  • Share this doc with your friends (short link: https://bit.ly/hk2nymask)
  • Volunteer in Hong Kong to receive or collect donations
  • Volunteer in New York to help distribute

FAQ

What kind of mask are you sending?

This is an example of the kind of mask we are sending:

  • ASTM F2100 Grade 1
  • 3 ply, meltblown cloth
  • CE EU certification
  • Bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE) ≥ 95%
  • Particle filtration efficiency (PFE) ≥ 95%
  • Flame spread = Level 1
  • Synthetic blood penetration resistance (mm Hg) = 80

Who will receive masks first?

Our priority for the first deliveries are providing for hospitals, including Bellevue, NYU Langone, Elmhurst, Woodhull, New York Presbyterian, Jamaica Hospital, Columbia Medical Center, Brooklyn Methodist, and Brookdale Hospital, as well as clinics serving Rikers and Manhattan Detention Center and the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

As more deliveries arrive to our delivery team in New York, we will be distributing to front-line wage workers and communities with immunocompromised individuals, including Trader Joe’s workers, the union of NYC Doormen, community health workers such as physical therapists and artist collectives with immunocompromised members.

How did you source the masks you’ve purchased?

Our focus is on sourcing ASTM1 masks, and our experience and advice over the past weeks has shown that the marketplace for level 2 and level 3 masks is currently crowded with scams or inferior products, and poses a large potential for fraud. We advise people to note the certification level on the packaging of masks and use their discretion when using these products for personal protection. In layman terms, ASTM1 is the typical commercial-grade product, providing basic protection with hydrophobic 3-ply material that, per advice we have received from local doctors, provide a measurable level of protection, particularly over homemade alternatives or garments, e.g. scarves or bandanas as some are using.

This is a grassroots, mutual aid support effort, pooling donations and purchases of masks, where we are doing our best in our personal capacity to meet the needs we are seeing emerging in frontline communities who are lacking access to the most basic of resources. To be perfectly clear we are not medical suppliers. We are not professionals in this field of providing medical supplies. From conversations we’ve had from multiple front-line workers, they are able to use these ASTM1 level supplies as an additional buffer in conjunction with other PPE that they use. We are conducting reasonable due diligence, and exerting our best efforts to verify the best source and the quality of the supplies we are providing. We cannot ultimately legally provide assurances of the quality or efficacy of these materials, despite our best efforts to vet them, considering the current issues in the marketplace. Please note the certification level of the masks noted on the packaging (ASTM 1, ASTM 2, N95 etc.) and use your judgement accordingly.

Note as well, we have avoided trying to source N95 masks, except for accepting donations of branded product, due the the high rate of uncertainty in obtaining legitimate product, hyperinflated prices, as well as the fact that governments and large-scale medical suppliers are occupying most of this area (as they should), with the certifications and experience to import in bulk. Hopefully hospital supplies will catch up to the demand that’s needed at this time. Our future goal once this happens is to then focus more on front-line wage workers and immunocompromised individuals and communities, with basic but essential pharmacy-grade masks.

Why can’t you include a higher quantity of masks in each shipment?

Customs and FDA regulations limit the quantity of masks that can be shipped per day for personal use.

How many masks have you sent already?

Check out our latest updates! (scroll down)

UPDATE 11/10/2021

With additional funds these months (a big donation from Movers and Shakers, in particular), we’ve used up the balance of our funds to send masks to advocates in East New York, Woodbine, as well as to Navajo, Ojibwe, Akwesasne, Kiowa and White Mountain Apache.

UPDATE 8/8/2020

We are still going! Just sent 10,000+ masks ttl in the past month. We sent 2,000 each to Navajo Nation, White Mountain Apache and Kiowa people. We also sent 600 masks to the Ojibwe and will send more soon! Protests in Portland are still going. We sent 2,000 masks to our contact who is distributing among vulnerable communities and various mutual aids in PDX.

In NYC, we also sent several hundred masks to mutual aids, including Shut It Down @NYC_ShutItDown. We sent a few hundred each to @wilfredobklyn, advocate of East NY, to distribute in his community in 11239 zip code, which has the highest COVID infection rate.

We also delivered to Queens Neighborhood United and Woodbine Mutual Aid @woodbinenyc. Pictured here is our volunteer Andreas delivering to QNU, and below for delivery of masks to Woodbine Mutual Aid.

We are sending more to Indigenous tribes this week. After 4 months and 62,000+ masks donated––our funds are now dry! We're raising $4.5K USD to buy 10,000 more masks and ship from HK. Please consider donating. It is tough times, so if you can't donate please consider sharing/ reposting. Thank you to everyone who has supported!

Our volunteer Andreas delivering to Queens Neighborhood United

UPDATE 6/5/2020  

COVID has not gone away, but as we in Hong Kong lose the right to memorialize and publicly mourn on June 4th for the anniversary of Tiananmen–on behalf of our transnational community between two cities, we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and the right for people to protest tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and systemically violent & racist policing.

We have already sent 1,500 masks to the frontlines of Black Lives Matter actions in NYC in the last week, and we are sending masks to MN this week as well!

As hospitals catch up in supplies – we are orienting ourselves towards communities in urgent need right now.

Therefore we have also delivered:

  •  4,000 masks to We Keep Us Safe Abolitionist Network, working with a over 10,000 Black and Brown working class and poor people living in public housing, and many who are houseless, recently released from incarceration, immunocompromised, and the elderly
  • 1,000 masks to Bowery Mission, a veteran organization helping homeless and hungry in NYC
  •  2,000~ masks EACH to: the Navajo Nation, Ojibwe Tribe, Kiowa Tribe, Havasupai, White Mountain Apache Tribe and Zuni Tribes this week, as Indigenous communities also continue to be disproportionately affected by COVID.

We donated 600 masks to SWOP Brooklyn, a 100% volunteer-run Peer-led organization dedicated to supporting sex workers in New York, which has reached out to help a great number of sex workers on the street suffering from homelessness and addiction. Here is Molly, one of the SWOP organizers happily receiving our donation!

We also have been getting masks distributed through various networks through on-the-ground mutual aid / advocacy networks to communities, especially in Brooklyn.

We believe in the importance of care and its necessity as people of different abilities and capacities and knowledge converge together on the frontlines of the streets or from their own homes to resist violent systemic racism and brutal policing. Everyone has their roles: some call their senators, others participate in protests. We must resist in a myriad of ways. And our contribution is for just the simple protection of masks to help people claim their right to protest, while mitigating the risk of COVID spread.

For other material ways to show solidarity w BLM, please consider donating yr time & resources in the following ways: https://bit.ly/2AE8iti - the most extensive doc of nation-wide resources. Pls do check status of bailout funds before donating, as some already maxed out.


UPDATE 5/9/2020

Tiffany is getting more and more skilled at sourcing masks, and our friends in HK have gotten even more efficient at organizing post offices runs together :) That means we’re increasingly able to send higher quantities of masks. In late April / early May we:

  • Sent 1,000 masks EACH to the Navajo Nation, Havasupai people and Kiowa Tribe
  • Delivered 500 masks to the Long Island Huntington Hospital
  • Sent 200 masks to a group of community healthcare workers in Philly.

We also have been getting masks distributed through various networks through on-the-ground mutual aid/ advocacy networks to communities, especially in Brooklyn. Giving a few hundred each. One of the orgs we donate masks to is Club A Kitchen, who deliver hot food, free clothes and harm-reduction supplies to homeless and vulnerable communities, working out of Bushwick. Donate to their aid fund here!

Although we call ourselves “HK to NYC,” when we find ourselves in direct contact with other communities, we will not say no! We feel privileged to work with indigenous tribe leaders and to continue expanding to people who need it.

ALSO: After a long, winding process of working a daisy-chain of contacts, we finally confirmed that 800 masks got into Rikers! It went out in two batches. One for new admissions. A second for those in custody. Thanks so much to friends at Mask Crusaders, MedSupplyDrive and others.

We’re getting another 10,000 masks from the supplier this week in HK. Then shipping them out. More updates soon!

UPDATE 4/20/20

Drawing from over $13,000 in donations (THANK YOU SO MUCH!) we have seeded 12,000+ total masks to NY so far. We shipped directly to Matt, our total superstar who coordinates all receipts and deliveries of masks from his Brooklyn apt.

On 4/15, w/ the help of a new volunteer Andrew, deliveries were made to the Tibetan Nurses Association, Elmhurst, and two separate contacts at Montefiore Medical Center, allocating at least 400+ masks to each. Sara, another new volunteer, delivered masks to Brookdale on the same day and masks were also delivered to Neighbors Together in Brooklyn. They were kind enough to introduce us to St. John’s Bread and Life, whom we'll be donating masks to in the coming days! If you can, please donate to and support these orgs!  

Also on 4/15, our volunteer Chen delivered to a doctor at Columbia Medical Center. And Nicole, another volunteer delivered to Jamaica Hospital. We received this personal thanks from the Doctor (left).

Rebecca also delivered to Maimonides, specifically to the Nicu staff there, who sent us this picture and personal thanks :’)

P.S. We have also shipped masks directly to community leaders of the Navajo Nation, the Havasupai tribe and the Zuni tribe, which are due for delivery by the end of this week!

P.P.S. Through collaborating with our friends Mask Crusaders, another mask initiative based in NYC, with special thanks to Dora and Michèle and many others, many others, we are pushing for deliveries of masks inside Rikers and those getting out of jail & being put in emergency housing. Follow them and stay tuned for more on these efforts!!

UPDATE: 4/5/2020

A lot has happened since the last update!! We’ve now raised just over $13,000 from more than 330 donors — thank you so much! We’ve already 1) done a *bunch* of drop offs 2) received our second shipment and 3) started delivering out those as well.

Each of the pouches above contains boxes of masks with at least 300 pieces each. Our friends have been hand-delivering the pouches directly via no-touch delivery to healthcare workers with whom we’ve been in contact. Our first shipment, which contained about 2,000 masks, went to healthcare workers at eight different facilities (including Bellevue, Elmhurst, Woodhull, Jamaica Hospital, Columbia Medical Center, Brooklyn Methodist, and Brookdale Hospital, as well as clinics serving Rikers and Manhattan Detention Center).

We are in the process of delivering the second shipment of another 2,000+ masks to recipients at: (*already delivered!)

  • Nurses in the newly opened Javits Center hospital*
  • NYC Health + Hospitals*
  • Henry J Carter Specialty Hospital*
  • Trader Joe's City Point*
  • And immunocompromised individuals including a Brooklyn home health/PT worker*
  • New York State Psychiatric Institute
  • Brooklyn Community Services
  • The NYC Doorman Union

In Hong Kong (above right) we have been continuing to source mask donations, as well as mail out the remaining stock we have here. We are also working to source the next batch of masks, possibly including the higher protection KN95, on which the FDA just lifted import regulations. Thank you for your continued support!! <3 —Isla

PS. we received this incredibly moving message from a nurse starting at the Javits Center (left), and another from Woodhull hospital (right).

UPDATE 3/31/2020:

WOW!! Our first shipment arrived in just one day!! :)

ALSO! We just passed $10,000 in donations! Thank you all so much to the 290+ people who donated, and to all those who shared, for your support!! :) Drawing from these funds, we have currently purchased more than 8000 ASTM1 protective face masks in total. We’ve also received donations from Hong Kongers of more than 100 N95 masks, 100 ASTM2 surgical masks, and more than 100 additional ASTM1 masks, which we can ship thanks to your support!

The three boxes above contain about 2,000 masks, and today we just shipped 2,000 more. Stay tuned for more updates on distribution in NYC! For questions about how we’ve chosen to source and allocate these supplies, please see the new section in the main document.

UPDATE: 3/30/2020

Today we made our first shipment of masks! The shipment consisted of one bulk order that Tiffany had acquired, plus smaller assorted donations from friends in HK (see pictures below!).

Shipping masks from HK is a team effort, because, as we learned today, they’ve set restrictions on mask shipments. Only a limited number of masks per person is allowed, so in order to ship all the masks we had, we had to send multiple people to FedEx to ship the order in parts. Apparently most of the people on the line at FedEx were also there to ship masks to family and friends in the US.

The shipment is going to our friends in Brooklyn who have some storage space. From there, one of our volunteers will pick them up and hand off them directly to healthcare workers we’re in contact with. According to FedEx they should get there pretty quickly. We’ll add updates when they arrive! —Isla