Part of our Together While Apart campaign, #MyMaskMyStory is a collection of personal accounts from individuals with deep ties to the COVID-19 pandemic. These include those who have volunteered, those who have donated, and those who have received.
Edited by Dilber Shatursun
“Our hospital has quite a few COVID patients. When that plane first landed from Wuhan, at the March Air Reserve Base, it was our team of physicians and nurses that responded. Since that time, [Riverside University Health System] Medical Center has really been on alert and ready for the coronavirus to spread, and [to] be in this phase that we’re in now.”
“We have a great team that’s pretty much been working 24/7. They are making sure that our team is fully cared for by being covered with [personal protective equipment]. We have not had a time when our staff hasn’t had a piece of PPE that was necessary, and that’s really because our inventory team has been keeping track and making sure that if we get to a point that we’re concerned about, we’re doing everything we can to restock.”
“The pandemic turned everything upside down… Luckily, we have donors and volunteers all over the region who want to help out… to donate PPE, to donate dollars, to donate meals, to take care of our front line workers. It’s been amazing to see the outpouring. I think we’ve gotten to see the best in people.”
“Initially, [the team] had to do a lot of work because there were a lot of organizations- federal and state governments- working on getting PPE as well. So a lot of sourcing, conversation, and going to new vendors and suppliers that we haven’t [tried] before. We had a great contact [person] at an organization called LULAC [of Riverside], Yolanda Esquivel, who actually made the connection with Tzu Chi USA. It’s through those relationships and talking about our needs that Yolanda came to your Foundation and made the request [for PPE] on our behalf.”
“I think that our relationship with Tzu Chi USA is representative of how communities come together. On behalf of the RUHS Foundation and our Medical Center, thank you so much for giving us the PPE. It creates such a sense of community when people are coming together to support us during trying times like [these]. I know that our staff, our front line staff, feel well cared for because of your giving and your volunteerism.”
“We [also] especially appreciate the meals that came [from Tzu Chi Medical]. The vegetarian meals are healthy, and we really like when we can provide healthy meals to our teams who are out there working. It’s better for them and we know they feel better when they’re on the job. This time, everyone needs to be taking good care of themselves.”
Nicole Peterson Orr is Interim Executive Director at the Riverside University Health System Foundation. On July 7th, she received a donation of 2,000 surgical masks, 480 N95 respirators, 300 coveralls, 300 face shields, and 300 goggles from Tzu Chi USA. At the same time, Nicole accepted the offer to receive a delivery of 300 vegetarian lunches from the Tzu Chi Medical Foundation as part of its A Better Meal, A Better Earth campaign.