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Chinese Club raising funds to buy masks for medical workers


Many local organizations have donated their spare masks to medical personnel, but one local community group has gone a step beyond that to buy masks directly to donate them to local hospitals.

The Chinese Club of Western New York has been reaching out to the community, asking for monetary donations towards the purchasing of masks to be donated. As of March 24, they have raised $22,816 from 198 people.

All of the funds are being used to buy masks directly from China, for donation locally. They have donated 6,000 masks so far, including 1,000 masks to Buffalo Medical Group, 3,000 masks to Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, 1,000 masks to Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center and 1,000 masks to Mercy Hospital. The group also donated 2,500 lab gloves to Roswell Park.

Yanhong Na Baranski, president of the Chinese Club, said when donating masks to a local hospital, she realized how bad the shortage on personal protective gear is. Baranski said she saw some nurses were wearing homemade masks made from scarves to protect themselves. And while they may not be able to solve the shortage, she said it is more about an act of love to those on the frontlines, rather than fulfilling a hospital’s need.

“So that’s our goal, to show our love. And I know maybe we just send some few thousand masks. It’s not enough for the hospital. But this, from us, just shows our love,” Baranski said.

The group is still accepting donations online via PayPal here nd hopes to potentially expand their donations to police and nursing homes, as well.

Emyle Watkins is an investigative journalist covering disability for WBFO.