The COVID-19 crisis has drastically increased demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) at unsustainable rates, leaving many healthcare workers — who rely on it to protect their patients and themselves from illness – vulnerable.

Scrambling to find ways to help frontline workers, the stars finally aligned when Kate Goodman, co-founder of Make4Covid, walked into a FirstBank branch to open an account.

The Associate Director of CU Anschutz Inworks, was working with several other educators, technologists and medical professionals, to help create face shields using 3-D printers — in an effort to protect hospital workers battling the virus. This revolutionary technology allowed the group to develop, test, and deliver hundreds of pieces of equipment to area hospitals in a matter of days.

After hearing their story, a Branch Officer sparked a chain reaction that led the bank and its partners, Community First Foundation and El Pomar Foundation, to rally together and contribute $150,000 ($50,000 apiece) to the Make4Covid movement.

“Knowing there was a PPE shortage, it was never a question – we needed to do something to protect our healthcare workers and first responders,” said Emily Robinson, FirstBank COO.

Since the partnership began, Make4Covid has been able to deliver 50,000 face shields to hospitals around the state.

The current pandemic has triggered a similarly incredible response by Leopold Bros. Distillery, a Colorado spirits maker and FirstBank customer. Remarkably, they shifted their operation to produce hand sanitizer after hearing of shortages in the community. 

They are now working with the bank and Make4Covid to distribute the much-needed supply to rural communities in Colorado.

“We are especially grateful to FirstBank, who’s been instrumental in championing our cause and were helpful in getting additional partners onboard, said Lauren Hebert, Make4Covid Lead Organizer. “This sort of collaboration represents the true meaning of community and is the spirit behind the Make4Covid movement.”

In addition to the Make4Covid contribution, FirstBank has also donated $75,000 to the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, and its sponsorship of Arizona Gives Day helped raise a record $6.1 million for local non-profits this April.

It’s yet another reminder that we’re all in this together, and that together, we will get through this.