Desperate for a Different Kind of Stoke

We’re all aware that the world is in crisis. We’re battling a virus with the potential to infect millions of people worldwide. A coordinated global effort is needed to fight back.

But we can also act as individuals in ways that can make a real difference.

Matthew Bramble, founder of the Northeast Skiology Group, has come up with an idea to 3D print cheap and effective shields that can help protect the doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists who are so vulnerable. This defense is a crucial weapon in the fight of their lives. You can help.

Yesterday, I spoke with a nurse who works at a well-known hospital in central New York.

“We’re given one N95 mask that we have to reuse. The shortage of all Personal Protective Equipment is beyond imagination, I’ve never seen anything like it. We’re busting our butts on 12-hour shifts and hoping we’ll still be alive for our families when it’s all over. We’re scared as hell, but we keep moving forward. We need PPE desperately. We need it now.”

Jess Affinito, Registered Respiratory Therapist, Glens Falls Hospital

I’ve used this page to tell stories about getting up before dawn to make long drives for first tracks. We all invest a lot of effort and money to ski. It ain’t cheap when you consider lift tickets, ski gear, ski food, and whatever else goes into it. Think about this: if the price of gas goes up by 50 cents, what’s that going to add to my weekend — ten bucks? I’m still skiing.

NYSkiBlog has 1000 subscribers who will get an email when this piece is published. If each one of our subscribers will pledge even $10 bucks to Skiology’s GoFundMe we’d raise $10,000. That would provide 7500 nurses with facial protection for five days. The way this shield is designed additional days can be added for a cost of only 15 cents per day. This shield is a proven design that works. None of the money donated will go towards overhead. All contributions will be spent 100% on shields.

I’ve dedicated ten years of my life to NYSkiBlog. If you feel like our site has given you $10 or $25 or 50 dollars of beta or inspiration over that time, I’m calling on you now to pay it forward. We’re desperate for a different kind of stoke.

Please click this link to contribute to time or money to the Northeast Face Shield Project. I’d really appreciate your support. Our goal is to support the dedicated professionals who are working so hard and risking it all.

21 comments on “Desperate for a Different Kind of Stoke

  1. The shortage of PPE is frightening. Each day we go to work not knowing if there will be shields, gowns, or masks. These shields would be a godsend. The best part they will be free to the hospitals. This allows the hospitals to divert funds hopefully to added staffing leading to more quality patient care.

  2. Harvey thanks so much for posting this, and thanks to all who have already donated! We still need volunteers and donations—looking to keep making face shields as long as there’s a demand.

  3. These are certainly difficult and frightening times to be in healthcare. Thank you to the ski community, the organizers, the printers, the volunteers….everyone. There is a hashtag “we are all in this together” that couldn’t be more appropriate. The community support and exhaustive efforts like these to ensure we have what is needed is mind blowing and heart warming. It makes it so much easier to focus on what’s important, saving lives, when our own are properly protected.

  4. Harvey, our company is basically shut down but we are still paying our guys. We have van’s and people to drive them. Can you put me in contact with the person coordinating delivery of masks? We want to help. Volunteers of course but on a somewhat larger scale than an individual.

  5. I know the people involved with this effort including some not specifically credited with the fundraiser. I just threw $100 at it. I’m fortunate to be healthy, employed and working from the safety of my home. So many others are not.

  6. Cornell University and our local start up group have a similar project going. Thanks for the kick in the ass. Although I have collected 13 boxes of transparencies for face shields from my college within Cornell, there are four other larger colleges I can reach out to.

  7. Great Job!!! We are very indebted to the brave folks working to keep us safe. Keep up the good work.

  8. Great response from NYSkiBloggers, saw many of you in the GoFundMe and I’m sure there were others. I really appreciate it.

    Incredibly satisfying to see the first batch of shields in action in central NY today with more to come. If you know others who you think could help, send them a link to this piece, or go direct to

    Rock on America!

  9. We are standing by for instructions on how we can volunteer in this effort. We support this whole heartedly. We just sent our first batch of collected #gogglesfordocs, about 40, to an oncology hospital in Plainview LI, which was desperate for PPE as they are treating cancer patients with covid19. They reached out to us directly, and now we would like to do more for our fellow citizens and health care army. We dont have any 3d printers, but we can drive and deliver. The other thought I had is that there are at least 1 idle 3d printer in every public school in the state, including tiny Roxbury Central School. If anyone has any connections to the NYS Education Department, we could start these things up with volunteers and multiply the effort 1000 fold. I would be the first to volunteer to run one. Let’s beat this thing.

  10. Hi Laszlo,

    Thanks so much! There are a few ways to help:

    1) Donate to our cause at

    2) Visit our website at to sign up as a volunteer.

    3) Help is spread the word! Facilities in need can submit a request on our website. We also need to spread awareness of our cause, so if you can share on social media, share with friends and/or help us get media coverage, all of that helps us reach a greater number of people in need and raise more money to produce shields for them.


  11. 1) donated; check
    2) signed up to volunteer; check
    3) shared on social media and any other way I could think of; check

    Now put me to work.

    I just heard New Paltz has a 3D printer lab and they are also pumping them out.

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