Much needed N95 masks are en route to hospitals in Massachusetts and New York today, thanks to a heroic effort spearheaded by New England Revolution owner Robert Kraft.
Kraft, who also owns the New England Patriots, helped pay for and transport 1.7 million masks from China to aid healthcare professionals in their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Patriots' 767 plane landed at Boston Logan International Airport Thursday with a shipment of 1.2 million of the high-demand masks with an additional 500,000 scheduled to arrive in Boston as early as next week.
The Herculean humanitarian effort, detailed in the Wall Street Journal, was a collaborative effort between Kraft, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker, New York State governor Andrew Cuomo and Chinese ambassador Huang Ping among others.
“It is an honor for our family to be a part of this humanitarian mission. We knew that purchasing greatly-needed N95 masks and providing the Patriots plane to expedite their delivery to local hospitals would immediately help protect our courageous healthcare professionals,” Kraft said in a statement. “Multiple organizations across the public and private sectors, all of which were in lockstep with Governor Charlie Baker’s visionary leadership, worked together to execute this mission with the purpose of helping save lives.
I truly hope that in doing so, we can in some way inspire others to find creative ways to give more in support of our doctors, nurses and first responders. It’s nice to care for those who provide such compassionate care for us.”
On Friday, the distribution started. Some 1.4 million masks are earmarked for hospitals throughout Massachusetts to replenish the personal protective equipment inventory. The other 300,000 are aboard a Patriots trailer truck en route to New York.
#HAPPENINGNOW : @RIStatePolice and @MassStatePolice are escorting 300,000 N95 masks to NY for frontline healthcare workers.— Connor Cyrus (@NBC10_Connor) April 3, 2020
Using a trailer truck w the #Patriots logo, it dropped off about 900,000 masks in Massachusetts and 100,000 in Rhode Island. @NBC10 pic.twitter.com/Fc9YOJmttT
Previously, Kraft had donated 100,000 N95 masks to New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.
Kraft’s philanthropic efforts during these unprecedented times doesn’t stop there. He donated $250,000 to the Boston Resiliency Fund immediately after the closure of Boston public schools in March. The donation funded the purchase of Chrome Books for children who didn’t have access to a laptop so they could participate in online classes during “stay at home” orders.
Also more than $100,000 worth of frozen food from Gillette Stadium on Wednesday went to 20 food pantries and homeless shelters throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The Revolution and Patriots teamed with the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation to prepare 1.4 million meals to active duty military, veterans and their families. Gillette Stadium is one of the distribution hubs with each box packed with enough food to feed two people three meals a day for two weeks. On the first day, nearly 75,000 meals were distributed from the Gillette Stadium site.
The Kraft family will be hosting multiple blood drives over the next few weeks to benefit the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center and the Red Cross, while St. Francis House, the largest homeless day shelter in Boston, received to-go boxes, napkins and plastic utensils from Gillette Stadium. Similar donations are scheduled for the coming weeks.
Kraft, the Revs and Patriots encourage fans to do their part in donating to the Patriots Foundation to aid healthcare heroes. For the rest of April, 100 percent of all donations to the Patriots and New England Revolution Charitable Foundation will be used to purchase additional PPEs and other medical supplies.
Click here to donate.