Law360 Spotlights Javier Torres' COVID-19 Relief Effort for Navajo Nation
Phoenix attorney Javier Torres and the group he co-founded, PPE for Navajo First Responders, were featured in Law360 for providing much needed personal protective equipment to the Navajo Nation in Arizona.
Back in March, as the coronavirus epidemic was beginning, Javier, along with his wife Ginger and her mother and sister, began sewing and distributing masks to medical clinics and frontline workers. They soon discovered masks weren't the only thing in short supply—first responders didn't even have basic supplies to protect themselves while working in the community, and EMTs didn't have bleach to disinfect their units between shifts.
Along with team members and friends on the Navajo reservation, they began fundraising and providing supplies to first responders and health care workers, including bleach, sanitizer, gloves, homemade cloth masks, commercially-made masks, face shields and other necessary items. The team has raised more than $50,000 through GoFundMe donations and has received thousands of in-kind donations from donors around the country, and has already made a substantial impact in an area hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We were a small group, but we wanted to do what we could," he said. "It's been a really huge effort that's all come together."
As the pandemic has spread to other Arizona native communities, PPE for Navajo First Responders has expanded their efforts to share supplies with the Hopi and White Mountain Apache communities. The group continues to work hard to ensure that supplies are well stocked for health care workers, assisted living facilities and residents of the reservations.
Javier's efforts with the group led to his selection to the Arizona Valley Leadership's first-ever Ready Together program, a virtual cohort with a mission to identify and solve social issues perpetuated by the coronavirus pandemic.