Love is contagious,and we spread it with masks
In this global pandemic of COVID-19, our community was affected with no exception, the lives of people received major impacts from this global health event. As high schoolers of our community, I wanted to make contributions to the community around us, to help those who are in need of these resources to be more prepared against the virus. I organized a team of international students, some from my own school and some from different locations of the Bay Area. We proposed a project to raise funds and purchase face masks from China due to its increased production from its early exposure to the virus and ship them over to our community and distribute them to those that are in need.
On April 13th, we received 5000 face masks from China and made up our plan of donation. We hope that these face masks go into the hands of those who need it the most and we not only want to protect those in the community that are making contribution, we also intend this to be gesture of friendship and love from China, that as human beings, putting all politics aside, we should unite to solve this crisis for we are all in this together.
Two days later, we donated 500 face masks each to San Francisco General Hospital and Santa Clara Medical Center. Later recalled by nurse Kitty from Valley Medical Center, that these face masks came in the moment it was most needed. She works in 6MED and she shared it with all her colleagues, despite the spread of COVID-19, they were able to stay safe with the plentiful supply of face masks from our donations. The other sections were not so fortunate, being reluctant to receive donations, which is understandable for their concern of face mask qualities, often had medical workers infected with the novel Coronavirus.
In another two days, we donated 150 face masks to our neighbors and post officers. We put them in a box for pick-up; when we picked up the empty box, we found a pleasant surprise: a letter inside from a postwoman, thanking us for the face masks. The box may be empty, but the intangible love that we receive is immeasurable.
April 18th, we donated 250 face masks each to four nursing centers near our area. Although our contacts are limited because of the policies of the nursing center to protect their residents, every center we visited treated us with the warmest gratitude for these donations. When I visited the Herman Health Care Center, there was an old lady, accompanied by her husband, standing shakingly near the window of the health care room as I was walking out, visitors were not allowed and we had to leave our donations at the door. Inside the half see-through window lies her mother, accompanied by no one but medical machines. The lady was in tears, shouting with a shaking, painful voice: “ Mom! I love you, we miss you!”, trembling, she got as close to the half-open window as possible, as if she was going to jump inside. The quarantine may be able to separate people, but it cannot separate love. We wish all the best for this lady and her mother, and for all whose lives are affected by this pandemic.
When the schools closed, a lot of children going to public schools, who previously relied on the lunch provided by their institutions can no longer gain access to those foods. Low income families are at risk as they may be unable to support and afford those meals. Santa Clara Unified School District has a wonderful program in which they distribute lunch at schools to families that need them. We selected four school locations and donated 2000 face masks over the course of five weeks. They told me that their supply of face masks from their organizer wasn’t enough, and they had to reuse them for extended periods of time, and we were able to show up to solve their problems. They feed thousands of children a day, these masks were the reason that they can stay safe and keep helping our community.
In May, we donated another 1500 masks each to San Jose General Hospital and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. I was surprised by a heartwarming thank-you letter from the nurses from VMC. Everytime we make face masks donations, we are always met with videos and pictures of staff expressing their gratitude.
It has been fantastic to see them putting these face masks to good use. Every place we make a donation, we are welcomed with smiles and gratitude; we feel proud being able to support them and protect our lovely medical workers, healthcare centers and other essential workers in these hard times.
Together we fight COVID!
BASIS Independent Silicon Valley
美国 · 加利福尼亚州