Nobles 64 in action: Clint Smith and HeroGuards

HeroGuards is the creation of Clint Smith and fellow activist Augusta Ayer. Together they are helping combat the scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers in the Greater Boston area by supplying the Lahey Hospital in Burlington, the Jewish Health Care Center of Worcester, and other health care institutions with protective gear that normally has a different use: to protect fishermen, sailors, or anyone who braves the elements in a marine setting. Think slickers, foul weather gear, and the like.

HeroGuards volunteers go from one sporting goods store to another, and also online, buying inventory of light weight slickers and foul weather gear, collecting and distributing it directly to nursing homes and hospitals. Such gear can often cost as little as a dollar for ultra light weight clear plastic ponchos and rain suits.

This creative solution is a response to the lack of “official” PPE which cannot be produced fast enough by normal means (factories) to meet the demands placed on health organizations by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Getting HeroGuards up and running has not been an easy task. Appeals to local politicians, and organizations like FEMA led nowhere. Setting up a 501(c)(3) organization normally takes many months. Finally, a local charitable organization, the Essex County Community Foundation (ECCF), an already qualified 501(3)(c), opened their doors, allowing contributors to Hero Guards to channel their charitable donations to HeroGuards through that organization.

Donations made out to “Essex County Community Foundation/HeroGuards” (or to “ECCF/HeroGuards”) will now qualify as charitable contributions and will help fund the work of HeroGuards. To make a donation through ECCF through a secure internet channel, click here and follow the instructions. Questions? Reach out to Clint at

Clint is hoping that the HeroGuards model will be duplicated by hundreds of similarly minded people nationwide.

This short description can hardly do justice to all the effort that Smith and his cohort Augusta Ayer have had to invest, the obstacles they’ve had to overcome, the perseverance that the simple urge to help others can sometimes require. You can learn much more about HeroGuards by reading a summary published in the Worcester Telegram and the more substantial article printed in the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly.

We wish Clint and HeroGuards the best of luck and much success.