Chinese Community Donates Thousands of Masks to Area Hospitals, Organizations
Through its Community Relations Committee (CRC), the Jewish Federation of Cleveland mobilizes the Jewish community into action, leads Israel education and advocacy efforts, and builds relationships across diverse communities in Greater Cleveland. Thanks to our donors’ generous support of the annual Campaign, the CRC is able to foster collaborative relationships with other ethnic, racial, civic, and religious groups. It was, therefore, not surprising that when the Cleveland Chinese community came together to raise funds to procure Personal Protective Equipment or PPE for local nursing homes, human services organizations, and hospitals, they came to the Federation with an offer to donate masks to organizations that needed them.
by JANE KAUFMAN | STAFF REPORTER
Workers at Montefiore in Beachwood and Bellefaire JCB in Shaker Heights will be the recipients of 1,000 masks each on April 16 as volunteers in the Greater Cleveland Chinese community raised funds to purchase medical masks.
Su He of Pepper Pike said the Greater Cleveland Chinese community doesn’t represent any particular organization, but came together simply to deliver masks: some 40,000 to 13 hospital campuses in Northeast Ohio, which were delivered from the end of March through April 8, and nine nursing homes and residential centers, where the deliveries were scheduled to be made on April 16.
Nearly 300 people raised nearly $30,000 to purchase the masks.
“It’s overwhelming,” said Beth Pollack, director of organizational advancement at Bellefaire JCB in Shaker Heights. “It’s just the best. We truly have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have contacted us. Every day somebody drops off 20 homemade masks.”
Pollack said the masks will be used by the 375 workers who provide direct care to the 90 clients who live at Bellefaire.
Pollack estimates the need for surgical and N-95 masks at 15,000, and said Bellefaire also needs hand sanitizer, particularly.
“We are meeting the need through a variety of ways,” said Pollock, adding that she is grateful for the masks made by the National Council of Jewish Women/Cleveland and others. “We should bee able to ultimately get to our number by cobbling it together.”
He said people in the Chinese community in Greater Cleveland began talking about the need based on their understanding of the need in China and then in the Cleveland medical community.''
“We found a resource in China,” she said.
Other groups and individuals are donating to cities, such as Beachwood and Solon.
The hospitals include Summa Health in Akron, University Hospitals’ Ahuja Medical Center, Bedford Medical Center, Rainbow Babies & Children, UH Parma Medical Center and UH Richmond Medical Center, Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland and Cleveland Clinic – Fairview Hospital, Akron Children’s Hospital, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center in Cleveland, MetroHealth in Cleveland, Mercy Medical Center in Canton, Lake Health, Lake Health/University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.
The hospitals received 40,000 masks distributed by size.
The other residential care centers include Solon Pointe Nursing and Rehabilitation, Akron Haven of Rest Ministries, Heritage of Hudson Health and Rehabiliation Center, Grande Oaks in Oakwood, Jennings in Garfield Heights and Care Alliance Health Center in Cleveland. The Jewish Federation of Cleveland in Beachwood connected members of the Chinese community to Bellefaire, Pollack said.
“We are just really grateful,” Pollack said. “It’s one of those moments when we recognize we’re part of a bigger caring community.” Gregg A. Levine, chair of the Federation of community relations committee, said, “We Jews know all too well from history and about fear and ignorance, how it leads to hate and discrimination, and so we naturally did an outreach to our friends in the Chinese community to offer our support and solidarity. And it means so much to us that this was reciprocated with further shows of solidarity and support for our community.”