Local Family Donates 30,000 Masks With Help of Churches

A local family recently used their connections abroad to procure surgical facemasks to donate to nearby hospitals as they struggle for supplies during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Karissa Ho, a junior at Mayfield Senior School, and her father donated the 30,000 masks over the past two weeks to a variety of local hospitals, including to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Keck Medicine of USC, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Good Samaritan Hospital and the Kaiser Permanente campuses. The masks were acquired through donations from a variety of churches in China and Taiwan, with whom Ho said her family has cultivated ties throughout the years for their shared faiths.
When Mayfield joined other schools in closing down facilities and transitioning to remote learning, Ho said she and her family fell back on a familiar question they task themselves with.
“We’re always, always asking ourselves if we’ve done enough to help our community,” she said in a phone interview. “Everything from supporting local businesses and ordering takeout to making this mask delivery situation, we’ve really been trying to help our community as much as possible. I’m very grateful we have these resources and I’m very privileged to be able to help out. We’re trying to make the best with what we have.”
Ho said she and her family, who live in South Pasadena, also are using donated funds from those churches to acquire the N95 masks considered most effective at preventing the spread of the coronavirus which causes COVID-19, which they plan to donate to hospitals in need.
In putting the project together, Ho said she and her family wanted to simply show what community effort looks like and also push back against reports of xenophobia toward Chinese and other Asian residents, which stems from the origin of the outbreak in China.
Ho added that it was a treat to be able to thank hospital workers in person when donating the masks.
“It was really eye-opening just to be able to thank the people who are putting themselves at risk to help others every day,” she said. “I really hope we can all band together in this time of crisis.”

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