Chinese American Community Provides 100,000 Face Masks in One of Maryland’s Largest Donations

Leaders from different Chinese American groups have come together to help frontline healthcare workers in Maryland fighting the COVID-19 pandemic with PPE donations. 

Coming together: On July 10, business community leaders presented 100,000 KN95 masks to the state of Maryland and Montgomery County to meet the urgent need. 

  • Renowned Chinese ceramic artist Si Qiuli spearheaded efforts in donating the essential medical supplies alongside artist and educator Karina Hou. 
  • An active community leader, Hou is the president of both the Chinese American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Washington (CACCGW) and the Organization of Chinese American Women-Maryland Chapter (OCAW-MD Chapter). She also co-chairs the Montgomery International Film Festival (MIFF).
  • Hou expressed her appreciation to all who contributed to the success of their initiative.
  • Si founded the Beijing Dadi Art Center and initiated the “Make Contribution for World Peace” event as well as other philanthropic endeavors. He currently serves as a consultant for the Overseas Chinese Artists Association.
  • “There are no true borders. At its core, it can create a better environment that promotes meaningful connections. Strong relationships are the driving force of mankind and it is what pushes us forward,” Si Qiuli said.
Christina Poy (left), Karina Hou (right)

Overcoming obstacles: The donation committee faced challenges in securing the supplies as the current political tensions between China and the United States have made it difficult to produce, transport and certify them. 

  • Since March, Si and Hou have been working together with Organization of Chinese-American Women’s Olivia Zhang and County Film Festival’s Tony Jia to gather the supplies.
  • The donation committee started by searching for masks from factories from all over the world. 
  • They also worked in collaboration with government representatives U.S. Congressman Jamie Raskin, Maryland State Senator Susan Lee, Maryland State Delegate Lily Qi, Maryland Chief Administrative Law Judge Chung Pak and Director of the Governor’s Office of Asian American Affairs Christina Poy.
  • Aimed at combating COVID-19, the donation is considered one of the largest of its kind from an Asian American group this year.
  • The donation ceremony was attended by donation representatives at the Montgomery County Health Department.
State Senator Susan Lee (far right)

Christina Poy, on behalf of Governor Hogan, released this statement regarding the donation:

 “Governor Larry Hogan thanks Karina Hou, Tasly Pharmaceuticals, the Chinese American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Washington, the Organization of Chinese American Women – Maryland Chapter, the Montgomery International Film Festival, and the Si Qiuli Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art for donating 100,000 KN95 face masks and 3,000 bottles of hand sanitizer. This generous contribution was one of the largest donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the State of Maryland from the Asian Pacific American community. We also want to thank the Anne Arundel County Food Bank and the Montgomery County Health Department for helping to organize the distribution of this PPE.” 

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