Personal protective equipment (PPE) continues to be in short supply around the country due to the outbreak of COVID-19. However, thanks to a few groups of Chinese Americans in central Ohio, a number of health care providers in various local communities are receiving donations of the equipment in large quantities.
As of last week, three groups — the Columbus Chinese Christian Church (CCCC), the Columbus Chinese Physician Association (CCPA), and the Columbus Chinese Community (CCC) — have rallied together to donate more than 60,000 masks and 12,000 gloves to help the fight against the virus. The personal protective equipment has been delivered to 14 different hospitals and emergency services, including in Delaware County with Delaware County Emergency Management.
To raise the funds needed to acquire the personal protective equipment, multiple GoFundMe pages were created on March 21. Today, the cause has already received donations totaling more than $73,500. In addition to the GoFundMe pages of the CCPA and the CCC, the Columbus Chinese Christian Church will also be donating upwards of $70,000 to the cause.
Hong Qiu, who created the GoFundMe page for the Columbus Chinese Community, said the three groups are made up largely of friends who have lived in central Ohio and have known each other for many years. Many attend service at CCCC.
With most of them being originally from mainland China, Qiu said they were heavily impacted when they saw the virus ravaging through the country before arriving in the United States, and they felt the need to do something to help the fight locally.
“We knew we had to do something to help, so we came together to start the fundraising,” Qiu said, emphasizing the success thus far is because of how the groups are collaborating together. “It’s a pretty large effort,” she said.
The collective group effort is well-organized, with dedicated teams focusing on their own individual aspects of the effort. Qiu said there is a team focused on the purchasing of the equipment, a distribution team, and even an accounting team. An even larger group has taken on a broader approach, brainstorming ideas and keeping tabs on where the biggest needs in the community may exist.
While the selflessness of the group is already easily recognizable simply by the time and effort they have dedicated to aiding their community, Qiu said there has been a frustratingly consistent issue in getting the funds released from the GoFundMe account, which has forced them to pay more than $20,000 out of their own pockets upfront while waiting for the donation money to be accessible.
Deacon Baopeng Cao, a member of the CCCC, said through collaborations with the other groups, they have been able to ensure that the supplies are well spread out across Franklin and Delaware counties to have a more widespread impact.
Cao said of the groups’ efforts during a time of severe need in the community, “We are part of this country. We are a part of this community. We need to support our local professionals in fighting against COVID-19 together.”
To donate to either of the GoFundMe pages, visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/together-we-fight-covid19 or www.gofundme.com/f/c4wyvu-2020.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.