Local Chinese American Club Donates Much-Needed Masks

Photo courtesy of Caroline Anderson
HaiHui Voth, Lola Dietrich, LiJuan Deng, Ashley Dietrich, Jack Wang, Derek Jiang and Liang Wei display masks from the Chinese Club of La Cañada and La Crescenta that were given to the La Cañada Unified School District.

The Chinese Club of La Cañada and La Crescenta has been busy donating masks to local organizations.
Last week, members supplied masks to La Cañada Flintridge city officials, the La Cañada Unified School District and the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station, among others.
“We are grateful for this generous gift to the city,” said Rebekka Hosken, director of finance for the city of LCF, which received 100 masks last Thursday. “These masks are greatly appreciated to help protect the safety of our staff members and to ensure we remain healthy and able to continue serving the public.”
Shahan Atmajian, the city’s emergency services coordinator, will distribute them to staff.
Mark Evans, associate superintendent of business and administrative services for LCUSD, said the district received 150 masks.
“The Chinese Club has given masks to our cafeteria staff serving lunches, and I received a couple of more boxes yesterday,” Evans said on Wednesday. “We will continue to use them for our cafeteria staff serving the ‘Grab and Go’ lunches. Our custodial and maintenance workers will have access to them as well.”
The group sponsored an event on Tuesday, titled “Masks for Many,” in which 10 masks were given to individual senior citizens who requested them.
“That was great,” said club member Lola Dietrich. “We gave away 5,000 masks today.”
Caroline Anderson, who helped distribute the masks last week and this week, said Dietrich played a key role in the local effort.
“She is quiet but amazing,” Anderson said. “She’s on the [La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation] board with me.
Dietrich said last week that her organization started working on the effort after hearing from friends and family in China about how serious the coronavirus was in January.
“We’re trying to help the community protect themselves,” she said. “That’s why we’re doing it.”
She said an LCF family which has a connection in China was able to make non N95 masks and her organization was able to obtain the masks at a discounted price. Dietrich added they have had approximately 23,000 masks to give away with a limited number of N95 masks they received with the help of the Chinese University Alumni Association Alliance of Southern California and the Peking University Alumni Association of Southern California. These were donated to area hospitals.
“I think we had around 70 people that donate money for the masks,” Dietrich said, adding the group has given them to hospitals, senior citizens and others.
Anderson said she personally helped deliver about 100 masks to the city of LCF, 100 to the school district and about 200 to the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station.
“The people that really need masks are the ones still working,” Anderson said. “Like people [at the high school] serving lunch. Those people should be wearing them.”
She also donated some masks to senior citizens by ringing a doorbell and then dropping off the masks and walking away. Anderson said the group does not want donations because they are just some parents who banded together, not a corporation.

Photo courtesy of Caroline Anderson
City of La Cañada Flintridge Director of Finance Rebekka Hosken (left) shows off masks given to the city with Caroline Anderson, who distributed them for the Chinese Club of La Cañada and La Crescenta.

“If one of us gets [the coronavirus], a lot will get it,” Anderson said. “It’s just some Good Samaritans saying, ‘Let’s get some money together’ … and wanting to help the community and make sure the community’s safe.”
On Tuesday, Riverside County public health officials issued a news release stating that they recommend local residents to cover their noses and mouths with coverings (which do not have to be hospital grade) when leaving home for essential travel. Meanwhile, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to its website, does not currently recommend the routine use of respirators outside of workplace settings in the community. (A respirator is described as a personal protective device that is worn on the face or head and covers at least the nose and mouth.)
For anyone interested in donating or believe they need a mask, contact masksformany888@gmail.com.

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