In an attempt to give back to health workers on the front lines of the ongoing crisis, Share Gift Medical Volunteer Organization started to Meal Train, a forum used to mobilize food donations, to deliver Christmas Gifts, lunches and dinners to senior patients at Cupertino Healthcare Center, a senior nursing home, and First Aid Kits as well as student-designed COVID19 Touch Free Door Handles to Rota Care Free Medical Center.
“People want a tangible way to help, and can donate while sheltering in place and with friends,” said Colleen Nguyen, a psychotherapist who kick started the meal train campaign through her church. “My faith is a big piece and I wanted to have hope. Food nourishes people, good food.” Nguyen’s inspiration for donating food grew out of concern for the well-being of her best friend who works as a doctor at the San Mateo Medical Center. After talking to peers at the Central Peninsula Church in Foster City, they posted their plans on Facebook, and donations poured in.
As of December 8, Share Gift delivered 130 meals & gifts and 30 handles. It plans to make another 25 by the end of the year 2020, with more slots available for donations. Meals and goodie bags come from Share Gift Volunteer Members, as well as prototype products companies. “We see the donations coming in. It’s turned me from a glass half empty to glass half full guy,” said Felicia Barkley. “I was a health care worker for 12 years before I got into the management and I know even a thank you means a lot. It makes your day and shows people care,” added Felicia.
“They love it. I personally cart the food and goodie bags and deliver them to residents, and the look on their faces is relief and joy. They look like they were all going to cry,” said Denalynn. Denalynn is a health worker at Cupertino Healthcare & Wellness Center.
First Aid Kit donations are one of the many things that the RotaCare Free Clinic accepts. Seung Ah Choi and Myung Suh Choi, locally located in Cupertino, have 3D designed COVID Cordless Handles and shifted to production. Together they are planning to deliver 1,000 First Aid Kits and 100 COVID handles to RotaCare Free Clinic, Cupertino Fire Stations, and Cupertino Healthcare & Wellness Center for Christmas this year.
“First Aid Kits are great. We don’t have much money in the bank like some of these bigger centers. Donations are great and we think that’s really the way the community can help,” Felicia said when asked what the volunteer organization can continue to do at this time COVID19 to help the patients.
COVID19 Touch Free Door Handles are designed and prototyped by Seung Ah Choi and Myung Suh Choi. “As we stand behind our mission to create a safer and healthier planet, we designed 3D-printed door handles that can be controlled with elbows instead of hands to avoid spreading the COVID-19 coronavirus,” said Myung Suh Choi. “During this disastrous time, it is clear that the best steps we, as students can take are to wash our hands thoroughly to avoid touching our faces and to avoid close contact with others. An inevitable part of our everyday life is the opening and closing of doors that others have come into touch with. Through using your elbow instead of your hands, you will reduce the spread of germs, such as those connected to COVID-19,” she added.
When asked how she felt about the action, Seung Ah said, “I want to thank everyone. I want to thank my volunteer group members. I want to thank frontline workers. I think it’s a win-win thing for volunteers and recipients. Volunteers feel that they’ve been doing something for the community’s good.”