BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A group of Chinese-American volunteers is giving back to help local health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The volunteers managed to get $100,000 in donations in less than three weeks to buy personal protective equipment, or PPE, which has been in very high demand.

“A surgical mask usually is a one-time thing and then disposed of, but now we’re trying to use it through the day as much as possible,” said Wilbur Chen, associate professor of medicine at University of Maryland Medical Center.

Across the country, protests have been held because many say hospitals just don’t have enough PPE to keep health care workers safe with some hospitals highly restricting what they can use daily.

“It’s frustrating when you have to fight to save your community,” said Tishna Sole, a Del Sol Medical Center nurse.

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A Maryland group of Chinese Americans from Howard and Montgomery counties were motivated to help out in the struggle to get PPE after they saw how bad the pandemic was in China.

“Some of my colleagues said we have to do something we cannot just wait,” Tony Du said.

So in March, Tony Du and nearly 1,000 donors raised over $100,000 to buy N-95 and surgical masks, face shields and coverall gowns.

“We know what happened in Wuhan. We don’t want the same tragedy, happen, repeat here,” Du said.

Tony and other volunteers delivered the masks on Wednesday to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the Howard County Health Department and other hospitals to make it a little bit easier to keep them all protected.

“We are Americans. We don’t want to see anything happen to our home. This is the place we call home,” Du said.

Tony said they’re going to continue to try to fundraise and help out these health care workers in whatever way they can.

For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller

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