Local Chinese instructors pay it forward

By Mission Public Affairs

On Friday, April 17, two Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center instructors and a doctor with Standford Children’s Health, representing the Monterey Chinese Antivirus Team, donated 500 N95 masks, 30 gowns, and 318 medical surgical masks to the Montage Health group to be used by doctors and nurses at the local hospital in the fight against COVID-19.

On Friday, April 17, two Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center instructors and a doctor with Standford Children’s Health, representing the Monterey Chinese Antivirus Team, donated 500 N95 masks, 30 gowns, and 318 medical surgical masks to the Montage Health group to be used by doctors and nurses at the local hospital in the fight against COVID-19. (Photo courtesy of Hanwei Tan)

“The point of contact of MONTAGE Health, together with several staff, were waiting for us in front of their warehouse,” said Danni Lu, who, with her DLIFLC colleague Yue Meng, and a Standford doctor, Yanli Tao, dropped off the six boxes of medical supplies over the weekend.

The donation this weekend was only the latest good deed for a group that began working together two months ago.

It all started February of 2020.

The team initially started out as a group that connected on WeChat, China’s version of Facebook, to exchange information and find out what was going on in their homeland.

“The group started from collecting donations for Wuhan China,” said Hanwei Tan, an associate professor at DLIFLC and founding member of the group, who says they collected over $14,000 in 24 hours.

From there, and with the spread of the virus worldwide, their efforts turned toward their own community. They first pitched in to help make contacts in China and determine if the goods they wanted to purchase were from a trustworthy source. Once that was settled, they were able to secure the purchase 10,000 KN95 masks for the Monterey County Office of Emergency Services.

Soon after, Changling Qin, the CEO of China Shandong Makeronly Digital Technology Co., whose son has been admitted to UC Berkeley, decided to donate 20,000 surgical gloves where the supplies were sorely needed.

The team’s mission is to “organize local Chinese to do our best to help local people fight against COVID-19,” Tan said.

DLIFLC Commandant, Col. Gary Hausman, commended the instructors for their efforts in a report called “Heroes of the Battlefield,” saying that the institute’s Chinese instructors did a remarkable job by using their own contacts and resources to help the community. “All wanted to do something to help our local emergency services providers,” he said.

In an interview with the local Monterey County Weekly, Tan explained his motivation. “We are not a virus ourselves,” he said, referring to people who might make COVID-19 synonymous with Chinese people. “We are ready to help people fight against the virus.”

There are currently 66 members of the Monterey Chinese Anti-Virus Team. Their next goal, Tan says, is to collect $40,000 to purchase 100,000 masks for Monterey County.



Posted Date: 21 April 2020