• MyEO Engage


In the midst of this global COVID-19 pandemic, we know there’s hope from all over. We’ve heard of some fantastic stories coming in from many corners of the world. No matter how big or how small, we know that there are EO members who are help within their communities. Over the past few weeks, MyEO Engage has received news about a number of initiatives that we would want to take the time to shine a light on:

Texans Standing Strong

The saying goes that everything is bigger in Texas, including the help they're providing. From EO Fort Worth and Houston, our members’ hearts look gigantic with the diverse kind of support that they have shown their communities.

Winner winner, frontliner chicken dinners

Hearty and delicious meals are not difficult to find in Texas, with many Texans from all walks of life usually championing local chains. Chicken Express is one of those restaurants that would surely put a smile on anyone’s face, especially a local hospital frontliner. Jonathan Lee, a Chicken Express franchise owner and EO-er, wanted to give back to some of the hospitals in the greater Houston community, and did so in spades. With over 300 meals going out to 3 hospitals in the greater Houston area, hospital teams enjoyed some great meals between shifts. Meal donations are some of the most underrated donations that can be donated to medical frontliners, providing a great morale boost, and giving our frontliners one less thing to worry about after a long day. These donation runs were highlighted by the surprise appearance of mascot Stuart the Chicken, who helped pass out meals and pose for a few pictures.

Her Sewing is Just Non-stop sewing

There are some people within the EO Community like the EO Fort Worth chapter manager who has taken a personal initiative to help people protect themselves. Ronnie Crowley has been producing a colorful assortment of reusable cloth-based masks and caps for private individuals as well as local hospitals. Her volunteer efforts are all done alongside a centralized Facebook group that has volunteers producing homemade masks to be distributed across Texas, to where they are needed most. Throughout the Shelter in Place orders, she has consistently worked to provide these masks to both friends and strangers across the state.

A fashionable pivot: trading leather luggage for PPE production

Business conditions and business needs across the world are changing, creating what some are calling a new normal. Some EO members have been adapting their core business to better serve this new, contactless economy that is still developing as we collectively combat the COVID-19 virus. Since 2003, Dave Munson’s company Saddleback Leather has produced elegant leather bags, briefcases, luggage, and accessories, priding themselves on their long-lasting products. In the face of COVID-19, his company is swapping out fancy leather for reusable protective PPE.

Out of their facility in Central Mexico, Saddleback Leather is producing reusable cloth face masks, as well as Class 1 non-surgical isolation gowns designed for multiple use in hospitals. Dave and his family are heeding the nationwide call from the CDC and FDA to start producing these reusable-type PPE. With that directive, the company’s production team in Mexico has adapted their existing hardware to handle the softer cloth-based materials as opposed to their usual tough leather wares. With domestic businesses being called upon to help bridge the staggering supply gap, Saddleback is working hard to get these essential goods to North American hospitals and healthcare providers who need quality supplies the most.

Humongous hand sanitizer from Houston

Like we said, everything is bigger in Texas. Trent Staggers and his team at Mission Chemical are going bigger on the hand sanitizer front than anyone we’ve come across. Everyday, their facility in Houston is actually shipping up to 40,000 gallons of FDA-registered hand sanitizer across the country. Their facility has one of the most unique production capacities of any chemical manufacturer in the country, able to produce high quantities, while maintaining that vital FDA approved formulation. These bulk orders are shipping out in bulk tank trucks, totes, and drums directly out of Houston to provide for those who need it most.

Unsurprisingly, Trent has also received smaller requests from around the US, including one via LinkedIn from a nurse at an assisted living facility all the way in Georgia with 75 elderly residents. Trent was able to find a way to make sure that this particular community would get the supplies they needed through one of their partners. This kind of assistance, no matter the scale, is showing some of the best of EO in times like this.

Bless the face shields printed down in South Africa

In the world of 3D printing, if you can dream it (and design it), you can print it into reality. South African-based company Why? Toyz originally used their 3D printers for educational and entertaining toys to provide hands-on learning for kids. Nowadays, the company has made a concerted pivot to produce PPE, particularly making face shields and respirators en masse for various hospitals and essential service personnel. In the midst of this pandemic, the 3D printing community has become a surprisingly agile and collaborative group, especially in terms of addressing PPE production around the world. Anyone with a machine and the right kind of plastic filament can only produce a handful of masks in a day. Imagine a few hundred volunteers working together to make key items daily, cutting so much of the costs incurred with middlemen and shipping expenses. This community is also constantly adapting the designs, improving wherever they can.

In the case of Why Toys, they are maximizing the printers they have on hand to support the need for PPE, constantly printing face shields and breathing masks en masse for hospitals in the country. On top of this, they have recently started up a new initiative called MEDEX3D, or what they are calling “a hospital in the box”. This effort will allow remotely located hospitals and clinics in South Africa access to medically sound PPE, medical devices, and general medical items that would otherwise be inaccessible at this. Through Why Toyz, medical frontliners will have the platform to print exactly what they need, hopefully extending to the greater African continent at large as they scale up efforts.

Sourcing respirators for Spain The COVID-19 situation across Spain has been dire since the outbreak began, ranking as one of the top 3 in mortalities globally. Amongst the many autonomous communities in the country, the Comunidad de Madrid has been one of the hardest hit, with the capital and surrounding cities greatly affected by COVID-19. At the time of writing, the country’s number of cases has been trending downward with a recovery rates on the uptick, with worst hopefully in the rear view. Early into the pandemic, the country’s medical capacity was greatly challenged due to the overwhelming number of cases, especially with a great number of patients requiring intubation to survive. Many of us hear about ventilators, machines that give COVID-19 infected patients a fighting chance, allowing them to breathe when their lungs begin to fail. Madrid’s hospitals came to the point that some doctors were already foreseeing a scenario wherein they would have to choose “who would be intubated, and who would die” due to the lack of ventilators.

With the situation dire, EO Madrid members came together to do the near impossible: find a lifeline for their fellowmen. Over WhatsApp, a group of 8 EO members brought their unique skills to the table to source 2nd hand ventilators from across Europe. With the help of external broker partners and a partner surgeon doctor, they were able to find over a hundred ventilators to support their local hospitals, saving hundreds if not thousands of lives in the process.

EO Madrid's wants to continue their work, however funds are running thin, and donor fatigue has set in. If you would want to support this initiative, feel free to donate via their GoFundMe page at https://es.gofundme.com/f/546pc3-fighting-corona-v

These are just some of the stories that we have received from around the world, from EO members just like you. Their efforts seek to do good with what they have been given, no matter the size or scale. In times like these, the entrepreneurial community is showing the world that there are so many ways to protect, to aid, and to uplift. And we know that there are more like them whose stories deserve to be told.

If you or your business is helping fight this global pandemic, we want to tell your story. We at the MyEO Engage team want to help you tell your story. If you are interested in sharing your efforts with us, shoot us an email at myeoengage@gmail.com about your efforts, who you are helping, and how we can share your spark of hope. We know that your story can inspire members across the world, telling your story of social impact. Stay up to date on how we EO members are helping out by joining us on MyEO Engage on Facebook and our official EO group. We look forward to telling your story too.


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