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Chinese American group donates over 21,000 face masks to Delray Medical Center

A group of Chinese Americans in South Florida made one of the largest mask donations in Florida to a Palm Beach County hospital.
Posted at 8:17 AM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-28 08:17:01-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Groups of people coming together to donate supplies and meals to those on the frontlines of the fight against the Coronavirus has been a bright spot in the negative surrounding the pandemic.

A group of Chinese Americans in South Florida are doing their part, making one of the largest mask donations in Florida to a Palm Beach County hospital.

“We work together. We want to protect the nurses and the doctors who are really working on the frontlines to protect us,” said Yao Yan, the President of the Chinese Association of Science, Education and Culture of South Florida, or CASEC.

The group donated 10,000 N95 masks and 11,600 surgical masks to the staff at Delray Medical Center. They worked to secure more than $100,000 in donations to make it happen.

Many of the groups members first watched how the virus impacted the lives of friends and family in China and now they say they want to do what they can to help here. Using their ties to supply chains in China, the community in South Florida came together to secure the much needed gear.

“It’s a significant amount of masks. We use a lot of masks, so we are constantly needing to bring them in to keep our staff safe,” said Stephen Garner, the Chief Operating Officer of Tenet Palm Beach Health Network.

As COVID-19 continues to take lives, many Asian Americans have feared for theirs not only because of the virus but also because of hate. The groups president says members have dealt with racial remarks but he is not aware of any physical attacks in South Florida.

“The bias cannot stop us from helping our communities. We are part of these communities. It is our real home here so we want to help,” said Yan.

All new processes and new protocols make it a very challenging time to work in a hospital. Having protective gear is one less worry at Delray Medical Center thanks to CASEC’s generosity. Garner says they’ve been logistically overwhelmed by the support being shown.

“This is the time you want to be in the hospital because you’re actually getting to do what your calling is. And then to see the appreciation and support from the community is overwhelming and it’s just wonderful,” said Garner.