About Hero Masks
Hero Masks was founded by Maryland entrepreneurs, Brian and Natalie Gallagher, during the latter part of March 2020, soon after the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic hit their hometown and severe personal protection equipment (PPE) shortages become apparent. “Running a PPE sourcing-and-delivery service certainly wasn’t at all in our business plan, but then coronavirus / COVID-19 happened, we saw a serious need that wasn’t being addressed, so we put our years of experience to work helping the people helping all of us. ” says Brian.
During this pandemic, there are LOTS of UNSUNG HEROS working on the front lines, in regular contact with the public (you) providing medical services (doctors, nurses, technicians, staff), essential services (food services, e-commerce, drivers), or social services (foster care workers, homeless shelters) but can’t get the physical protection (masks, respirators, gloves, sanitizer) that they need to protect themselves, their families, and the general public from getting and spreading infection.
We’re gonna fix that!
These organizations all rely on the typical supply chain of ordering from a distributor, who orders from someone else, who may order from someone else, who orders from an overseas factory who takes weeks to ship it by boat across the ocean. This adds weeks of time and many layers of expenses and profits.
Because this stuff is now out of stock everywhere (and when it is in stock it gets bought by a few hoarders) we are bypassing the normal supply chain and going direct to the manufacturers and ordering in large lots directly using our donated funds. We are delivering using the fastest available air freight so that we can get these protections into the community AS FAST AS POSSIBLE to limit the spread. For institutions that want to place their own orders directly, we will be sharing sources and working with them to train their staff on how to order directly or help them with the order process.
The challenge in dealing directly with these manufacturers is that they require very large orders, typically 50,000 to 100,000 units as a minimum order quantity, which runs around $10,000 to $50,000 per order, depending on what is being ordered. This is why your donations are so important, so that we can place these large orders.
Funds will be used to purchase:
- Face masks for general low-risk use
- N-95 masks for high-risk use
- Nitrile (latex-free) gloves
- Hand sanitizer
- Paying specialists needed to help source this material (if we have to, we’re hoping for volunteers)
- …and whatever else is needed to do what we need to do!
We intend to distribute supplies to:
- Hospitals, urgent care facilities, and doctors offices
- Emergency responders (police, medical, hospitals, etc)
- Essential workers (cashiers, delivery, factory, truckers, etc.)
- At-risk populations (elderly, senior centers, homeless shelters, sick families, etc.)
- The general public (the more who have protection, the safer we all are)
Since we don’t have months to wait to create a new non-profit and government offices are closing, we are running all this through our existing business structure since we already have established credit lines and can ramp up quickly. Therefore, donations are probably not tax-deductible, but you will probably be saving lives, and that’s even better.
We have started off by self-funding thousands of dollars in purchases of masks, N-95 respirators and gloves from overseas suppliers (who have items in stock now) to prove the concept, are already in contact with local hospitals and are already fulfilling orders from a local mental health organization to protect their social workers who do home visits and can’t buy their supplies normally (their orders get canceled by distributors who are out of stock).
Please join us in making this grow. You can help by:
- Donating money so we can buy needed items
- Donating time/effort to help with everything we need to do
- Directing organizations who need supplies to contact us
- Sharing and posting our Blog posts and social media posts:
We are initially targeting our local area first and will expand more broadly as budget and logistics allow.
We will post details of what we’re buying and how we’re using it online to provide transparency on the Hero Masks Blog.
What if I still have questions?
This is definitely a case of “Helping One Helps All”, and we appreciate your support.
– Brian & Natalie
Where It All Started…
It started as a project with the kids to help out the delivery people bringing things to our house after we began self-isolation…
…and then we made some more for the local pizza delivery company’s drivers and staff…
…and then it was this, ordering a thousand masks from overseas suppliers to get to the medical community and essential workers…
…and now we’re scaling up and launching this project to try to help save many more lives through the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic.
Please help us help everybody!
About Brian and Natalie Gallagher
Brian (husband/he/him/his) has over 35 years of experience in business consulting, computer programming, systems integration, web development, marketing and has been running his own business for over two decades. He has worked in higher education, government, non-profits, businesses from Fortune 50 through fresh new startups. You can check out his LinkedIn profile if you’re really that interested. He was born in Philadelphia and moved to Maryland for much of his life. He made up for this fairly average adolescent life by doing interesting things professionally, having worked in a nuclear power plant, some exciting startups (sadly, none bought by Google), big giant consulting houses, tiny little consulting shops, and then chucking it all to work on his own.
Natalie (wife/she/her/hers) run the small business web agency side of things through her brand, Virtually Nat. She’s also been working in various industries, including banking, insurance, higher education, and small business services for over 30 years. Her LinkedIn profile is also online. She was born in South Africa, where she grew up, then lived in England for a while, and then made her way to the USA to meet the best guy around, Brian. You may be guessing who wrote this page by now, so I’ll just tell you she has the best accent I’ve ever heard. Even after all these years of marriage, I still love hearing it. And you will, too! 😉
We have two adult children and two small-ish ones and have lots of experience running a business from a home office and the challenges that brings.