Group showing ‘Buffalo Resilience’ – hoping to make a difference

March 22, 2020

Written By

Mary Friona Celani

Everyone seems to be pulling together to help those in need – and some folks are working to help our doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists and other medical staffers on the front line.

A Facebook group called – #Buffalo Resilience has Western New Yorkers coming together – with the same goal.

Phil Mc Namara, who started the group, just wanted to do anything he could to help his friend, Dr. Tony Martinez and others who are risking their health by helping others. We helped Dr. Martinez of ECMC, put out an urgent call to action (READ MORE HERE).

“The group started after a conversation with Tony, he asked for help,” Phil said, “I reached out to some service industry friends to see if we could combine our knowledge and contacts to put the right people together to get something done. I went to Facebook to start a group just thinking it was an easy place to connect. Once it started the community kind of took over.”

The group went into two separate directions, one was individuals looking to help with what they had at home, sewing machines and google. The other was industry, construction companies, HVAC companies, machine shops.

Word spread quickly, “Initially I was looking at industry for donations of N95 masks, and I still am. But then I was connected with Eric at Custom Covers and Canvas. He said he could help with producing textile masks on a much larger scale. Then the two came back together, and we started formulating a plan to put large amounts of materials and information and possibly the tools required to make masks into the hands of all of these isolated individuals.”

Phil says Eric at Custom Covers and Canvas is working on a prototype for a breathable mask. “Once we get material approval and a template we are off to the races. We will let you all know if I can get these to all and any volunteers ASAP.”


Phil says he has dozens of people working from home – making masks and making a difference. “I want to put together kits that include 100-200 mask templates (depending on skill level of individual), elastic or tie material, instructions, needle and thread (for those who don’t have any supplies at home), ziplock bags for packing. This way we can produce masks at a much higher rate.”

This is just the beginning.

“We are still looking for corporate and industry support to take this to the next level. Hospitals still need N95 masks, visors, surgical gowns. We don’t have all of the answers, and we want the Buffalo and its business minds, industry that may have been furloughed, to put their knowledge, skill sets and if possible materials to good use.”




If you would like to help – head to #BuffaloResilience on Facebook or call Phil at 917-767-9451.


About Me

Welcome to Totally Buffalo! My name is Mary Friona-Celani and I am the creator of this site! After spending 20 years in the Buffalo media, I moved on to focus on my beautiful family. Now, the time has come for a new project. I was ready for something new. Something mine.
I am born and raised in WNY and my pride runs deep. My husband, Scott and I are very happy to be raising our four daughters here.






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