Translated by Diana Chang
Edited by Ida Eva Zielinska
The shortage of personal protective equipment and medical supplies in healthcare facilities across the United States has become grave during the COVID-19 pandemic. And yet, the process of donating is not always straightforward – at least that’s what Tzu Chi volunteers in Maryland discovered.
At the end of March, a volunteer called Tzu Chi USA’s Greater Washington D.C. area office, to say that the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), for which her son works, was short on medical supplies. Volunteers followed up by reaching out with an offer of assistance, although stating that the supplies were on backorder, so not immediately available.
Several emails followed, aiming to confirm a contact person at UMMS, determine the eventual location for the delivery of supplies, and ultimately set a date. While there were some delays during the sequence of exchanges, when Tzu Chi sent the message that 4,000 medical masks and 300 KN95 masks were ready for donation, the response was swift.
On April 16, at 10:30 AM, a team of Tzu Chi volunteers – Paochu Hung, Chunlung Su, and Huichen Jao – arrived at the designated location of the University of Maryland Medical System, bearing the gift of critically-needed medical supplies.
Once they proceeded inside, David Wong, Nurse Manager of University of Maryland Medical Center, one of the UMMS’s facilities, accepted and signed for the donation.
Thanks to the patience and perseverance of everyone involved, it was mission accomplished, and the staff of another hospital in the United States would have a bit of relief from the stress of lacking sufficient medical supplies.