2021 TIME100 Next
Photograph by Curved and Co.; Caitlyn Meyer
By Andy Kim
February 17, 2021 6:55 AM EST

In a crisis, small acts can make a big impact. And in extraordinary times, ordinary people, driven by service, can do extraordinary things. The early days of the COVID-19 pandemic were some of the darkest in America’s history. A leadership vacuum from the White House contributed to health care professionals across the country lacking the personal protective equipment they needed to stay safe and save lives.

Dr. Shikha Gupta wasn’t on the White House Task Force. She wasn’t a governor or a member of Congress. She held no title other than doctor and citizen. But when she and her colleagues saw a need—and a hashtag—they met the moment and took action. Powered by a dedicated coalition of medical professionals and other team members, the Get Us PPE organization—where Gupta is the executive director—has helped distribute more than 6.5 million pieces of PPE to frontline workers.

Their fight, like this pandemic, is not done. But across the country, millions of people working to save lives can do so with confidence because of Gupta and her colleagues’ small acts and incredible impact.

Kim is a Democratic Congressman from New Jersey

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