Dancers, designers and students are creating protective masks to donate to the frontline during shortages. Artists are selling their work to help feed nurses. Entrepreneurs are launching relief funds and distributing free meals to those who are most vulnerable. Here are 6 companies that have stepped up to the fight.

Creating Personal Protective Equipment

In response to the shortage of personal protective equipment, FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture & The Arts mobilized its 3D printing facilities to produce a minimum of 1,000 face shields. The first batch of face shields, made from non-toxic polylactic acid, was delivered to Baptist Health last week. 

Millions of N95 masks and PPE are also being produced by FIGS, a leading retail company with offices in Miami and Los Angeles. In 2013, FIGS entered the untouched, archaic industry of producing medical scrubs and reinvented them to create stylish, functional apparel for healthcare professionals. They’re donating $100,000 to the Frontline Responders Fund plus 30,000 sets of scrubs to hospitals impacted most by COVID-19. 

Third Way Volunteers movement, founded by Dr. Alisson Thompson almost 20 years ago, has always been on the frontlines of providing medical, recovery relief. Thanks to volunteers’ efforts, they have already sent out 260,000 N95 masks to hospitals, fire rescue departments, police.

Creating Partnerships to Combat Hunger

Every day Food Rescue US Miami volunteer team, led by Ellen Bowen, distributes meals to hungry, unemployed, and food-insecure populations. During the pandemic, Food Rescue has partnered with many local restaurants to feed doctors, nurses, and other healthcare staff who are on the front lines of this fight.

Museum of Graffiti (pictured above) and famed Miami artist @aholsniffsglue have teamed up to sell 100 limited edition posters for $40 each and send 100% of the proceeds to Feeding South Florida. With over 46,000 school closings in the US due to the outbreak, many children are at risk of going hungry. Over 14.7 million public school students depend on the School Breakfast Program, and over 30 million depend on the National School Lunch Program as their sources of nutrition. Most of us are fortunate enough to not have to worry about our next meal. Many others are not. 

Creating Virtual Education and At-Home Play

Caribu, a Miami-based education platform, helps families do more than video chat with their children when they’re not able to get together in-person; it allows loved ones to read, draw and play games with younger family members for meaningful connection. During the pandemic, they’re giving 60 days of free access to their platform, with support from AT&T. The video-calling app with integrated books and activities has over 200,000 downloads and users in more than 150 countries. 

“Caribu was created to make families feel like they’re together when circumstances won’t allow it,” says founder Max Tuchman. “This is a challenging time for all of us. So, whether it’s reading a bedtime story with a grandparent who’s a thousand miles away — or one who can’t leave their home just down the street — the contribution from AT&T lets us keep those important connections alive.”

Impact Edition covers the changemakers who create a positive impact in South Florida and beyond either through their business practices, products or community engagement.