A Week of Kindness in the City of San Gabriel

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A police car outfitted with a blue mask

San Gabriel police vehicles (wearing face masks) in the Parade of Appreciation at the San Gabriel Medical Center. Approximately 30 vehicles from 4 different cities participated (Photo – Cheryl Cabot)

To help Southern California’s medical centers and law enforcement to combat Covid-19 pandemic, the Joint Chinese Universities Alumni Association of Southern California (JCUAA) initiated a charity donation campaign recently, and quickly gained support from its forty university members.

By Cheryl Cabot

As of April 16, the campaign has raised a total of $43,155.00, plus personal protection equipment (PPE) including 18,600 pieces of face masks (including 4,200 N95 masks), 22,000 pairs of nitrile gloves, 1,000 pieces of protective cloth, 700 pieces of protective face shields, and 500 protective goggles.

Monday, April 13

Two members of the I-Chinese American Political Action Committee (IAPAC), Chairwoman Donna Chen and San Gabriel Councilmember Tony Ding delivered 1,900 face masks, in addition to paper towels and four gallons of hand sanitizer, to the Broadway Healthcare Center facility in San Gabriel.

Chairwoman of IAPAC, Donna Chen, said:

As a community organization, we deeply know how important the medical personnel’s work is on the front lines for our community during the Covid-19 crisis. Today we would like to show our support and appreciation with our respects to you, by contributing these PPE supplies to the Broadway Healthcare Center.

Administrator, Chia Demurjian was grateful for the donations and stated they were sorely needed.

employees stand in front of donations

(L-R) San Gabriel City Councilmember Tony Ding, Chairwoman Donna Chen, Administrator Chia Demurjian and Broadway Healthcare Center employees (Photo – Cheryl Cabot)

Friday, April 17

In an effort to support local law enforcement and communities, members of JCUAA delivered 1,000 face masks to the San Gabriel Police Station, welcomed by Administrative Captain Riki Nakanura, and newly elected City Councilmember Tony Ding.

“A strong sense of community is at the heart of everything we do and is more important more than ever,” Joseph Shui, President of JCUAA said.

“While these challenging times are uncharted territory for all of us, law enforcement personnel are even more important in keeping our community safe and uninterrupted” added Steve Kuo, Vice President of JCUAA and donation campaign coordinator.

Members of JCUAA later that day delivered donations to Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, welcomed by Garfield Medical Center CEO Patrick Petre, and to Walnut City Hall, welcomed by City Councilmember Allen Wu.

JCUAA will also deliver PPE donations to the Los Angeles County Health Service Department, Police Station of Monterey Park, and Police Station of Rosemead in coming days to food banks to help school kids who cannot receive meals due to the school closures.

men in suits holding bozes of donations in front of a Police Station

(L-R) Steve Kuo, V. P. of JCUAA, Joseph Shui, President, and Jersey Sun, V.P. of JCUA of Southern California with S.G. CM, Tony Ding (Photo – Cheryl Cabot)

Sunday, April 19

Free meals were given out at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse parking lot by 7 Seeds Catering, AK Fresh Roast, Blossom Market Hall, Lokal Pantry, and LG Foods on Sunday afternoon. The food was donated by all the sponsors and prepared by 7 Seeds Catering, who will be a vendor in the new Blossom Food Hall when it opens later this year. Two choices were offered: orange chicken with rice and broccoli or BB ribs with potato salad, including bottled water or soda.

“We just want to give back to communities,” said Sai of 7 Seeds Catering, “and we are planning another dinner give-away next month in San Gabriel at a site and date to be determined.”

Father Ray, from the San Gabriel Mission, and San Gabriel Mayor Denise Rivera Menchaca, were on hand to encourage folks to drive up or walk over for a meal.

Mayor Menchaca said:

The COVID-19 outbreak is distressing for all families. To make things even harder, lost income, combined with panic buying is causing food challenges.  For these reasons, this was a very generous act of thoughtfulness to offer free delicious meals to the neighborhood.  It was clearly appreciated and welcomed during these unsettling times.

Within about two hours all 200 meals were handed out. All safety measures were used including face masks, gloves and social distancing.

Monday, April 20

In a show of gratitude and support for the San Gabriel Valley Medical staff during this difficult time, the San Gabriel Police and Fire Departments participated in a multi-agency appreciation parade in front of the Medical Center. The parade consisted of various public safety vehicles from Pasadena, Alhambra and San Marino, in addition to San Gabriel. The Pasadena Police Department’s PD-1 helicopter conducted a fly-by.

Police Chief Eugene Harris, of the San Gabriel Police Department, explained how the appreciation parade came about:

It was actually the brain-child of members of our Police Officers Association, Officers Tim Logan and Steve Gaona. They put this together and came to me about a week ago and said, ‘We’d like to do this for our Med Center’. Those are the people behind the doors. They are not as visible as we are, and we wanted to give them some respect. Our culture is open- minded so we say ‘any good idea is one we want to look at,’ so we did that here, and it worked out.

Cheryl Cabot
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