As the covid-19 crisis began to worsen in mainland China, many Chinese Americans here began to donate facemasks to healthcare workers in China. Now, as the United States grapples with the pandemic, devotees in China have also begun to send facemasks to support our own healthcare workers and law enforcement on the front lines of this battle here in America. While we are separated geographically, our teacher, Venerable Master Hsing Yun has said, “In coexisting together, we are all global citizens.”
With the onset of a PPE shortage, donations of facemasks have been received from Buddha’s Light International Association World Headquarters, Venerable Master Hsing Yun Public Education Trust Fund, Dajue Temple, BLIA Los Angeles Chapter, as well as individual devotees of Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple. Compounding the strength of many, in recent days, the received facemasks have been donated to St. Jude Hospital, Whittier Hospital Medical Center, PIH Health Whittier Hospital, Garfield Medical Center, UCLA, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, as well as the Arizona State University Buddhist Research Center. Hsi Lai Temple has also sent an additional 100,000 facemasks to New York to help their frontline personnel.
Under the upward trend in coronavirus cases, the 5000 facemasks, 400 protective suits, and 600 N95 facemasks donated earlier to Methodist Hospital of Southern California, Arcadia, were found to still be severely inadequate. The hospital had therefore decided to make 2000 cotton facemasks and surgical caps to respond to this emergency. Because most businesses were closed due to the pandemic, there was no fabric source. On April 4, once BLIA Arcadia Subchapter members heard about the need, there was a call for cotton bedsheets or left over fabric remnants to provide base materials for the hospital to make the much needed protective gear.
Recently-retired Arcadia Subchapter member Yingfei Chen, expressed that she was willing to donate her entire stock of interior design fabrics. Los Angeles Chapter member Meirong Chang-Wang personally acquired 1000 facemasks to donate to the Methodist Hospital.
In care of our subchapter members, BLIA Los Angeles Chapter also purchased facemasks on their behalf to protect their health and safety. Aside from donating facemasks and protective suits to her local hospital, Gena Ooi of Long Beach Subchapter also made a donation of PPE to the many nurses who volunteered their time at the temple during the Lunar New Year festivities, ensuring they have the most basic of protection at this important time.
Nurse Stuart of Gardena Hospital said that while caring for confirmed cases of covid-19 infection, receiving PPE is the best gift one could ask for.