A group of more than 100 Lehigh University students and their families, all members of the Chinese community, recently rallied together to support St. Luke’s University Health Network in this time of great need.
What started out as an idea for a small fundraising campaign turned into a life-saving initiative to purchase N95 and disposable 3-ply face masks–critical personal protective equipment (PPE)–to help keep the network’s frontline caregivers safe as they fight back against COVID-19.
The fundraiser was initiated by the Zhengnan Chen and Yicheng Gao families–who also managed all of the bookkeeping for the donations. Originally, the students and their families had coordinated the purchase of 4,000 masks, but thanks to the incredible generosity of the Liwen Fu Family–who alone contributed an additional 2,000 masks–a total of 6,000 masks were shipped to the Lehigh Valley and provided to St. Luke’s. For the students, it was a way of expressing gratitude and respect to local healthcare providers and the Lehigh Valley community that has felt so much like home for them.
“The students felt passionate about doing all they could to help,” shared Dr. Jing (Tiffany) Li, a professor at Lehigh University who helped coordinate the shipment. “Their wish was to donate the personal protective equipment to St. Luke’s to help those on the frontlines, who are doing all they can to keep our community safe.”
Even though the students’ families were also recovering from the tragic impact of the virus in China, they worked tirelessly to secure the masks as quickly as they possibly could because they knew there was a PPE shortage in the United States.
“It is an inspiring display of support,” said Ben Guerin, Manager of Occupational Medicine Sales at St. Luke’s. “For these students and their families to step up in such a significant way, despite fighting their own COVID-19 battle back at home in China, shows true selflessness. We are experiencing a global pandemic, but we are also witnessing communities coming together from–quite literally–across the world. It’s so encouraging to see.”
To learn more about opportunities to support St. Luke’s University Health Network in the fight against COVID-19, please click here. The network is graciously accepting monetary gifts to its COVID-19 Response Fund, as well as donations of blood, PPE and other supplies to help keep our frontline caregivers and patients safe.
Note: This local health news is shared in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.