WASHINGTON, May 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As the coronavirus pandemic severely disrupts life in the U.S., grassroots Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) endeavors emerged across the country to raise monetary and personal protective equipment (PPE) donations for essential institutions such as hospitals, police stations, and fire departments. Despite rising incidents of coronavirus-related racism and xenophobia, AAPIs around the country are putting community resources together regardless of how long they have been in the U.S., where they are from, or where they are on the political spectrum.
The International Leadership Foundation (ILF) has launched the www.united-usa.net website to document and honor efforts made by AAPI communities around the U.S. to help frontline workers fight against COVID-19. AAPI communities around the U.S. have donated over $31 million worth of contributions, donated over 10 million PPE, benefiting over 2,500 hospitals and institutions.
Many AAPI organizations around the country have offered their contribution information, including the Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), Committee of 100, Daofeng and Angela Foundation, Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce of North America (TCCNA), Tzu Chi USA, the American Chinese United Care (ACUC) Alliance, and WeStar Alliance.
On May 26th, ILF with major AAPI organizations convened a virtual press and community briefing to pay tribute to the AAPI community's efforts to provide COVID-19 relief. The briefing included International Leadership Foundation Chairman and Hsu Educational Foundation Founder Dr. Paul Hsu, Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY), Congresswoman Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS), White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Executive Director Tina Wei Smith, National ACE CEO and International Leadership Foundation Founding President Chiling Tong, Committee of 100 President Zhengyu Huang, Tzu Chi Foundation CEO Jackson Chen, Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association Founder C.C. Yin, Daofeng and Angela Foundation Founder Daofeng He, and Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce of North America President Gerald Wang.
"From all corners of America, AAPIs and their strong community organizations are demonstrating their embodiment of this spirit, they represent strong threads of the fabric of America," said Dr. Paul Hsu. "The United USA initiative provides a positive and effective way to remind America of the tremendously united contributions and support made throughout this crisis by the AAPI community. Together, we are making a significant difference!"
"During this time, it is important to remember that so many of the frontline and essential workers are willing to go to their workplaces to help save lives. About 2 million of these frontline workers are Asian Americans and it is important to continue to remind people that Asian Americans too are on the frontline," said Congresswoman Grace Meng. "While our country is dealing with this pandemic and this virus. Our communities are also dealing with viruses of racism and discrimination. We must stand together as a community to speak up for each other and speak out against hate."
"It is especially important to thank all of the front-line workers in the battle with the coronavirus, including hundreds of thousands of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who are employed in our healthcare industry. Through their commitment to their communities and their fellow citizens, they are putting their lives at risk ─ and some of them have given their lives ─ to save others," said Tina Wei Smith, emphasizing the quote from Secretary Wilbur Ross. "They contribute every day to making America a caring, and exceptional nation."
"These are challenging times, but we are stronger when we row together," said Congresswoman Amata Coleman Radewagen. "Our Asian American and Pacific Islander American communities have given their time and resources as the Nation rises to this challenge, they provide us many reasons to be thankful, and I am honored to take part."
"There is a significant shortage of PPE in our country. During these challenging times, AAPIs are stepping up to fight against COVID-19. UnitedUSA was created to highlight the efforts and contributions of AAPI individuals and organizations have been doing to protect our frontline medical workers," said Chiling Tong. "We need to stand together and unite to fight against this virus."
"Committee of 100 and its members have been dedicating significant resources over the last few months to provide the necessary supplies needed to fight COVID-19. We recognize that our efforts only help to support the incredible sacrifices made by all American healthcare workers and first responders. This AAPI Heritage Month, we are particularly grateful to the Chinese American and Asian American workers leading the fight, and we celebrate their contributions to helping America heal from this pandemic," said Zhengyu Huang.
"We brought together 13 Asian-American and Asian non-profits to support the fight against this virus by providing PPE to those who need it most. Our goals have always been clear: to save lives by protecting our healthcare workers, and to slow the spread by protecting our vulnerable communities. Especially in times of crisis, we must remember: United we stand," said Daofeng He.
"At the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, when providing disaster relief, we strive to be among the first to arrive where help is needed and the last to leave. During this pandemic, we work hard to procure and distribute PPE nationwide. Delays in receiving such vital supplies can cost lives, and so we take this deeply to heart in all our efforts," said Jackson Chen.
Contact: Lily Hoang / 202.818.0087
Email: [email protected]
SOURCE International Leadership Foundation