FirstBank, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks with a focus on “banking for good,” announced a $50,000 contribution that is being generously matched by Community First Foundation and El Pomar Foundation, to support the Make4Covid movement. The total $150,000 donation will help Make4Covid answer the ongoing need for critical personal protective equipment (PPE) as the coronavirus crisis stretches on.

Make4Covid, launched by several members of the Inworks program at CU Anschutz Medical Center, is a FirstBank customer and grassroots movement dedicated to using 3-D printing to create PPE for healthcare professionals. The effort unites technologists, educators, regulators and industry experts under a single mission: to design, manufacture, and distribute resources for healthcare workers.

“All of us have family members, friends, and neighbors who work on the front lines,” said Emily Robinson, COO, FirstBank. “Knowing there was a PPE shortage, it was never a question – we needed to do something to protect our healthcare workers and first responders. We’re thrilled we not only found out about Make4Covid, but could all rally together – FirstBank, Community First Foundation and El Pomar Foundation – to support their movement. It’s been inspiring to see what they’ve accomplished in a short time, and we’re hoping with this funding we can help Make4Covid deliver even more protective gear to hospitals in need.”

After just 21 days in operation, Make4Covid was able to provide over 9,000 pieces of equipment to healthcare professionals. With increased resources and greater support, the hope is that those numbers will soar.

“The support from FirstBank, Community First Foundation and El Pomar Foundation is monumental, and it’s enabling us to create and manufacture more equipment for hospitals. That’s what really matters,” says Lauren Hebert, Lead Organizer at Make4Covid. “We are especially grateful to FirstBank, who’s been instrumental in championing our cause and were helpful in getting additional partners onboard. This sort of collaboration represents the true meaning of community and is the spirit behind the Make4Covid movement.”

The group, which has been recognized by Governor Polis as a key organization to help Colorado’s health care crisis, is focused on serving Colorado hospitals, including 43 rural hospitals facing greater supply chain challenges.

“With Colorado’s shortage of adequate medical equipment, El Pomar Foundation is proud to partner with FirstBank and Community First Foundation to support the extraordinary efforts of Make4Covid. As a statewide funder, El Pomar Foundation is especially appreciative of Make4Covid’s commitment to produce and deliver supplies to healthcare workers all across the state, including those located in Colorado’s rural communities,” said Kyle Hybl, El Pomar Foundation President & CEO. “Make4Covid’s impact in just three weeks is truly remarkable, and we are grateful for the vital support they will continue to provide to healthcare professionals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Other Colorado organizations are stepping up to help fight the effects of the pandemic. For instance, FirstBank customer and well-known Colorado distiller, Leopold Bros., has pivoted their operation to make hand sanitizer -- another highly needed item -- for local emergency responders, hospitals and healthcare facilities. The family owned distillery and Make4Covid are now working together to ensure sanitizer could be included alongside PPE shipments to rural Colorado communities.

“We love seeing scrappy, cross-sector collaboration emerge during this crisis,” explained Kelly Dunkin, CEO and President of Community First Foundation. “Coloradoans are resilient and creative about finding solutions in our own backyard, and this serves as another example of how we get to work to support each other. As a community foundation, we are humbled and proud to support our healthcare heroes.”

While Make4Covid is currently manufacturing face shields, they are also designing and testing an N95 style mask and even ventilators to benefit hospitals in dire need of support. To find out how you can help, visit Make4Covid.co. To learn more about FirstBank or its response to the coronavirus, visit www.efirstbankblog.com/coronavirus.