Amid COVID-19 crisis, here’s how you can help in the Coachella Valley

By Desert Sun Staff | Palm Springs, CA

Help sew masks, volunteer with the county, donate PPE, give blood and more ideas for lending a hand, from Palm Springs to Indio.

Looking for ways to help during the coronavirus crisis? Here are some ways to make a difference in the Coachella Valley.

Riverside County seeks medical volunteers, supply donations

Riverside County is seeking urgent medical supply donations and medical volunteers to continue its fight during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Riverside University Health System has created a list of urgently needed supplies including ventilators, cardiac monitors/portable telesystems, masks (including, surgical, N-95 or handmade), personal protective equipment (which includes hoods and face guards, filters), isolation gowns and gloves. RUHS is also in need of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, assistants and technicians able to volunteer. Only licensed practitioners or students pursuing degrees in any of these areas may be medical volunteers. 

A complete list of items and how to donate or volunteer can be found at Look for the donate and volunteer buttons on the right-hand side of the page. One of the sterile white rags that was made in to a facemask for the Coachella Valley Mask Makers, March 26, 2020.  Buy Photo

One of the sterile white rags that was made in to a facemask for the Coachella Valley Mask Makers, March 26, 2020.  (Photo: Jay Calderon/The Desert Sun)

Help make facial coverings

The Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with Trish Tac Sew Sewing School in the effort to create and distribute facial coverings and non-medical-grade masks to essential businesses such as food distribution centers, local markets, gas stations, restaurants and others. The chamber needs volunteers to cut and package materials, volunteers to sew masks, and volunteers to distribute masks. If you are interested in volunteering, email

PDACC is accepting monetary donations to purchase supplies. Visit click on event registration and scroll down to Keeping Our Community Safe. If you would like to learn how to sew masks for yourself, family or friends, there is information on the same website. 

Another group with a similar mission is Coachella Valley Mask Makers, The group is aiming to deliver 1,000 quality masks per day to local healthcare providers and first responders. As of Monday, April 6, they had delivered their first 1,000 masks to Eisenhower Medical Center and planned to deliver another 3,000 by the end of the week. The group is lead by Shelley Blume, Judi Britt and Kay Gerhardt.

The group is recruiting neighborhood, club and community groups that have an organizational system in place to make masks from the pre-assembled kits through to the completed product. If you have an organization, club or neighborhood group that you or another contact can act as coordinator(s)/captains to communicate to your volunteers and oversee a process that can deliver 200 + masks per week – they would love to hear from you and work with you on setting up your network.

Among the clubs that are helping are the Woman’s Club of Indio; if you would like to volunteer through them, please call Mickie Reed at 760.668.7018 or email

Donate PPE to Eisenhower Health

Do you or your business have N95 masks, gowns, gloves, face shields or other items that could protect health care workers? Eisenhower Health has set up a PPE donation hotline at 760-837-8988 that is staffed by the Environmental Services department. Couriers are sent to pick up items.

The nonprofit hospital is also seeking monetary donations to support care for frontline workers (including overtime hours, clinical staff recruitment and meals); treatment equipment (IV pumps, dialysis machines, rapid test equipment, UV decontamination system and iPads for physicians to provide telemedicine); and critical capacity expansion (buildout of secure care areas and negative pressure isolation rooms, creation of additional ICU rooms, and equipping an in-house testing lab.) To give, visit or call 760-773-1888.

Monetary donations

The ICEF COVID-19 Resilience Fund. The Riverside-based Inland Empire Community Foundation (IECF) has established the IE COVID-19 Resilience Fund to help local nonprofits and service providers who have been impacted by the Coronavirus. To make an online donation, visit  

Martha’s Village & Kitchen. As we begin spending more time at home, consider those who have no place to go. Martha’s Village & Kitchen provides housing for 120 homeless individuals per night. Consider helping this nonprofit that works to keep people off the street, where they are most vulnerable. To learn what you can do, visit

The COVID-19 Support Fund for Coachella Valley residents. United Way, Lift to Rise, local governments and community partners have created an emergency cash assistance fund for Coachella Valley residents financially impacted by COVID-19. The Support Fund, which launched March 27, was seeded with an initial $250,000 investment with additional funds being actively raised.

The immediate goal of the Support Fund is to provide $200 to households in the Coachella Valley financially impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 and the ensuing economic shutdown. Together with partners, we will coordinate to support and guide local families through the process of signing up for assistance and additional resources. Financial support from the Fund and many of the additional resources are available to Coachella Valley qualifying residents regardless of citizenship status.

The Fund is part of the Coachella Valley Economic Protection Plan, a public-private coordinated strategy to support families through COVID-19. You can find the full plan with resources to help with housing, food insecurity, medical care, bill paying, transportation, education and legal services is available at


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