Give a (Clean) Hand to Those in Need

Through our partnership with GetUSPPE and Merci Handy, help us help others — one hand sanitizer at a time.

My father lives overseas in a small city in Italy. So when COVID19 reached the US three months ago, I was able to use his experience as a guideline for what lay ahead. Avoid large gatherings, make or purchase a face covering, and prioritize cleanliness, especially of your hands. But pretty early on in the pandemic, hand sanitizer – a staple in my everyday bag – was harder and harder to find. Blessed with the ability to work remotely, this wasn’t a huge issue for me — I could wear gloves during those rare trips to the grocery store, and be diligent about hand washing. But what about people in a less fortunate position? What about essential workers, who were handling packages, stuffing store shelves, cleaning our offices and our streets? What about healthcare workers? They needed sanitizer as well as other personal protective equipment, which was becoming harder and harder to find.

Many others shared my concern. On Twitter, a hashtag was created (#GetMePPE) to stimulate stories about shortages of PPE equipment and to raise awareness about the Defense Production Act (DPA), the country’s most promising mechanism for rapid mass production of needed hospital resources. At the same time, multiple petitions were being circulated pleading for personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. Eventually seeing the traction garnered from social media, one Dr. Shuhan launched the GetUsPPE website, a hub connecting people in need with donors in their community who could help.

Originally expected to live for only two short weeks, the grassroots platform is still receiving requests today, over three months after its inception. It is now the largest coalition of PPE donor database projects, and it keeps growing every single day. With volunteer distribution centers spread across the 50 States, GetUSPPE celebrated One Million pieces of PPE Equipment distributed to those in need on May 1st, 2020, which was subsequently called “May Day.”

Top Photo: Generosity takes flight. What an incredible #PPEMatchMade. This was a pilot-assisted delivery, from Chicago, IL to Tempe, AZ that distributed respirators to a dozen different tribal nations.GetMePPE Chicago (@getmeppechi) dropped the shipment off in Chicago, Todd Green and his son Asher were the pilots that flew it From Chicago to Tempe.


Bottom Photo: The COVID-unit at #StBarnabasHospital #Bronx #NYC wanted to say hi & thank you … to all PPE donation crews & donors helping behind the scenes — from NYC to Cali. 

Both photos provided by the GetUSPPE Team.



Despite restrictions being eased in some states, there are communities who continue to be greatly impacted by the COVID19 pandemic, and who are still in desperate need of even the simplest supplies, like hand sanitizer. Free People is proud to partner with the French brand Merci Handy, who has created an exclusive no-scent hand sanitizer, in a beautifully sleek travel-friendly size. For each order from our website, one bottle will be donated to a frontline healthcare worker in need through the help of GetUSPPE.

Merci Handy is passionate about making a difference not only here in the US, but in their home country as well. In addition to having a similar buy one/give one initiative in France, they also have a long-standing partnership with a French organization against cyber-bullying. Born in Paris in 2014, the brand was created by two classmates, Louis and Roland, who decided to revamp a familiar and quite simple product — the hand sanitizer. The two friends strived to make the product more playful in hopes to bring more happiness and “rainbows” into people’s lives. 

Today, hand sanitizer is much easier to find than it was only a few short months ago, but Merci actually gives us a chance to give back. Join us by heading to our website, where we are gifting you a bottle of Merci Handy hand sanitizer with each purchase of $50 or more, and with each bottle given to our customers, one will be donated to someone in need. 

Merci Handy You Are Heroes Hand Sanitizer, yours with any $50+ purchase. Add to cart to redeem. While supplies last. 


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Such a great campaign! Thanks for sharing! ❤️✨

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

Mary Jain
1 year ago

Being a person from the field of cleaning services, I can relate very much to the idea of staying clean, especially during this Covid hit days. I’m working as a professional housemaid in Dubai, UAE in a housekeeping company and now in charge of a family having kids and the elders. I’m making them practice the right habits of staying safe, washing hands and face, using masks and sanitizers, etc.

We can hope and pray to get things better soon.

Mary Jain
Professional Maid at

1 year ago

That’s fantastic, 1 million pieces of PPE! It’s also good that you are giving sanitizer to someone in need, hopefully that will encourage more people to spend $50!

9 months ago

That’s very sweet of you guys. It feels very good when you see people helping and supporting each other during hard times.