HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — Members of the local Chinese community are answering the call for help to protect front line workers.
Months of organizing by the Eastern Virginia Chinese American Association, Tidewater Chinese School and the Peninsula Chinese American Association had led to thousands of pieces of protective equipment to be donated to several local hospitals.
“We started to launch a campaign and raise money and also collect the supplies from our parents and local Chinese families,” says Jeff Gao with Tidewater Chinese School.
The phrase they use is, “Small actions and lots of people equal big change.”
“A lot of families, individuals and organizations [came] together, raised money and also donated their own PPEs sent from their relatives or friends overseas,” says Wozhan Tang with the Eastern Virginia Chinese American Association.
On Friday, the three organizations donated more than 4,000 pieces of protective equipment to Chesapeake Regional Medical Center, including 1,000 N95 masks, 2,000 surgical masks, 800 pairs of gloves and 100 isolation gowns.
The Peninsula Chinese American Association donated an additional 1,500 N95 masks to Sentara CarePlex Hospital in Hampton.
“By doing this, we want to show we’re standing in solidarity. We’re part of the community, our kids go to public school, we work here, we put down roots here and we’re going to be part of a family and we’re going to fight this together,” says Ben Feng with the Peninsula Chinese American Association.
Raymond McCue is the Chief Medical Officer for Chesapeake Regional Healthcare. He says the scarcity of the personal protective equipment, “has been real, and these donations do make a difference to our health care workers and also to the services we provide.”
The organizations say they are still collecting PPE to make more donations in the future.