Building student involvement, fostering civic engagement and enhancing community service to advance public health. 

The #Collect2Protect initiative was created to help fill the growing chasm of need for protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals, clinics and homeless shelters. #Collect2Protect Healthcare Heroes consisted of three projects: sewing Facemasks, making Face Shields, and writing thank you cards to healthcare workers.  With over 60 volunteers, the initiative was gratified by the abundance of help, especially from Tufts students, faculty, and alumni that all answered the call to action in the midst of the PPE crisis.

Collect2Protect’s leadership team consisted of the founders Nancy Marks, Tisch College/TUSDM Community Service Coordinator and Stephanie Smith,D23, along with a team of four including Elizabeth Colby, D21, and D23s: Gabrielle Milton, Dallas Huff, and Amber Courtney.


A special thanks to Tuft’s Tisch College of Civic Life, whose funding helped to purchase raw material to make face shields and facemasks.  A shout out to TUSDM leadership for its ongoing support…with a special shout out to Maggie Dwyer who helped to coordinate onsite drop-off and pick up of materials.

The Initiative made and donated

Handmade Face Mask Total Surgical Mask Total N95 Mask Total Handmade Face Shield Total Thank You Card Total
1,135 38 100 823 200


  • PPE donations spanned over five states including Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Maine, and New Jersey
  • #Collect2Protect PPE donation sites included: The Shattuck Hospital, Pine Street Inn, Chelsea Collaborative, Amego Inc, Milford Hospital, Bayada Home Health Care, Medfield Animal Clinic, Midcoast Hospital, Boston Healthcare for the Homeless and Brockton Hospital.
  • Top donators included Allison McDonough (D23) who even created her own mask design and Edson DeSousa (predental at BU) and his aunt who tirelessly sewed hundreds of face masks over the course of the last few months.
  • Collect2Protect was honored to have had the Tufts University board of trustees contact Stephanie to speak on behalf of the TUSDM run organization and be a part of the “Reclaiming 19: Tufts University COVID-19 Response” video.
  • Elizabeth Colby currently continues the Collect2Protect mission by opening an Etsy store where she sells her handmade PPE and net proceeds go to charity.
  • Stephanie Smith continues to run her Etsy jewelry business with a new direction giving partial proceeds to Global Giving: Coronavirus Relief Fund.
  • Gabrielle Milton has continued to use her artistic skill outside of Collect2Protect to use her beautiful and powerful art to raise money for organizations fighting social injustice in this country. She has been recently featured on News 2 in Charleston, SC for her efforts.


Categories: ReflectionsSpotlight


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