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Philadelphia Chinatown Businesses Donate 25,000 Face Masks to Healthcare Workers Fighting COVID-19


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    The Philadelphia Chinese Community Organizations United (PCCOU) donated 25,000 face masks to local hospitals to protect the city’s healthcare professionals fighting the growing number of COVID-19 cases.

    A public request was made by the city of Philadelphia and local emergency care providers for donations of protective equipment for medical staff.

    Waiman Ip, the board of secretary of PCCOU, spearheaded the initiative and worked with different Chinatown organizations and businesses to raise money for the supplies.

    Within a week, $13,000 was raised which went towards the purchase of 25,000 face masks.

    On Tuesday, the masks were distributed to three local hospitals: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Temple University Hospital, and Penn Hospital.

    Chinatown businesses have been hit particularly hard by the economic downturn. Whereas other businesses have experienced the downturn more recently as a result of the mandatory COVID-19 shutdown, Chinatown businesses have seen a decline in customers since January, when news of the virus broke out.

    People of Asian descent have also faced discrimination and racism which has led to issues ranging from xenophobic verbal attacks to violent hate crimes.

    Waiman Ip, who is a small business owner, stated, “Our Chinatown community is doing our best to help our hospitals because COVID-19 is affecting all of us. We need to respect each other and work together to overcome this crisis.”

    John Chin, Executive Director of the organization, told NextShark that “the general feeling among the donors is that we are all affected by COVID-19 and we need to help those in need – doctors and nurses.”

    Several volunteers went around to donate the boxes of protective gear on Tuesday at 10:30 a.m. at Pennsylvania Hospital. They then made their way to the Thomas Jefferson Hospital and made final rounds at 1:30 p.m. at Temple Hospital.

    The Philadelphia Chinese Community Organizations United said it is “dedicated to supporting community members when they are in need.” The group is the umbrella organization for more than 40 Chinese community associations in the Greater Philadelphia region.

    PCCOU is continuing its fundraising efforts to buy more protective equipment, such as gowns, as hospitals predict that supplies will run out.

    This article has been updated to report additional details and PCCOU’s future plans.

    Feature Images via PCCOU (left), Anna Shvets (right)

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