There are stories of tragedy and frustration surrounding COVID-19, but we should also take the time to admire strength in these tough moments. People taking the initiative to collect supplies and raise money to help their community deserve to be recognized. Their stories should be shared and hopefully inspire and motivate others to help out as well.
1 Middle school student in Charleston’s Asian American community donate medical supplies
8th grader Harry Ding has collected, with help of this community, a total of 472 N95 masks, 300 surgical masks, a half-gallon of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol, gloves, eye goggles and $4,000 were collected within a four-day period. On March 23rd, the Dings brought the items down to MUSC’s Heroes Need Masks donation site in North Charleston.
2 Sacramento’s Chinese community members donate medical supplies to help fight coronavirus
A multitude of Chinese-American communities in Sacramento have raised money and donated supplies around this city.
For example in April, In 48 hours, members of the Zhejiang University Alumni Association raised $20,000 via a WeChat group, enough to purchase 45,000 surgical masks to hospitals from a manufacturing company in Southern California. They managed to deliver masks to 35 hospitals and individual practitioners in Sacramento and beyond.
Jinan citizens also returned the kindness. They raised enough money to buy and ship 8,000 surgical masks from Jinan to Sacramento, and later, around 20,000 more.
3 Chinese Americans in Michigan donate more than 200,000 masks, supplies
In January Chinese Americans in Michigan have come together to form a group called the Michigan Chinese American Coalition to Fight COVID-19. Using their ties to supply chains in China, they were able to secure much-needed medical masks to help protect health care workers on the front lines.
They have raised about $240,000 and donated more than 200,000 masks, many of them N95s, to 55 hospitals in Michigan, as well as thousands of eye goggles, hand sanitizer containers and protective coveralls, according to Joe Miao of Troy (pictured) , who helps lead the group. More than 2,000 Chinese Americans have taken part in the efforts to help, he said.
"Our great advantage is we know the suppliers in Asia," Miao said.
4 For ‘true heroes’: Chinese-American med student helps Idaho in the time of coronavirus
Lei Ye is just the kind of person you want in your community. The first-year medical student in Meridian helped organize a medical supply drive for St. Luke’s Hospital.
The effort collected 11,800 medical gloves, 100 full-body protection suits, 315 surgical masks, 125 N95 masks, 150 industrial N95 masks, 12 boxes of cleaning products and 100 $20 gift cards for front-line workers.
5 The Helpers: Chinese-American families rally to find medical supplies for Hampton Roads hospitals
Elizabeth Tai, a former longtime librarian in Poquoson has led one of several local efforts that have raised more than $30,000 worth of personal protective equipment from Chinese Americans living in the area to help medical staff tackle the coronavirus pandemic. “Almost all of (the equipment) is from China, but some is from home reserves.”
As officials there tamped down on infection rates and COVID-19 crept toward Virginia, Chinese American organizations like Tai’s reversed course and began asking friends, business associates and government officials in China to send donations back. So far, the Peninsula Chinese American Association has collected more than $16,000 and more than 10,000 of the items.
“We’re all in this together,” said Tai.