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DRBU Launches PPE Drive to Support COVID19 First Responders
Beginning in mid-March, a group of DRBU staff initiated a global drive of personal protective equipment (PPE). Working together with DRBA’s extensive network of Buddhist communities worldwide, the team secured donations of much-needed PPE from China to help hospitals, clinics, and first responders in Mendocino County and several cities in the United States.
The project team includes donors and volunteers of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA), the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB), and Dharma Realm Buddhist University (DRBU).
To ensure the quality of the PPE, the team engaged in extensive research of products and standards in the U.S., China, and around the world. The majority of the PPE are sourced from China and Korea. As of the end of April, the team has facilitated donations of 200,000 PPE items, which include N95 and KN95 equivalent masks, surgical masks, medical masks, and disposable vinyl gloves.
A major part of the PPE is donated to Mendocino County, where DRBU and CTTB are situated. The project team has been in communication with County CEO, Carmel Angelo, who leads Mendocino County's efforts in responding to coronavirus/COVID-19 public health emergencies as the Incident Commander. Carmel was deeply moved by the generosity and expressed deep appreciation for this contribution. The PPE will be used to protect medical personnel and first responders working in hospitals, clinics, fire districts, law enforcement, and skilled nursing facilities.
In addition, the team is sending PPE to hospitals and medical facilities in California, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Washington.
For centuries, Buddhist teachings have encouraged compassion and generosity. The founder of DRBA, the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua once said, ”Compassion is Buddhism’s primary emphasis. Compassion refers to a sympathetic heart, which coincides with the Confucian idea of ‘caring about the destiny of humankind.’” The outpouring from the global Buddhist community to help Mendocino County communities is an amazing act of generosity and compassion.
The PPE Donation Project has received inquiries from people all over the world, expressing their concern and wanting to know how they can help. “This effort is just one example of how, even in the face of great adversity, people can work together unselfishly, with hearts of great compassion, to help alleviate suffering.” Susan Rounds, President of DRBU.
A few comments from the local community:
“Thank you City of Ten Thousand Buddhas for your generosity to our Mendocino County community!” — Mendocino County Public Health
“What a generous donation from The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas! Thank you for this incredible gift to our community.” — County of Mendocino
“It's always wonderful to see acts of kindness. Thank you Dharma Realm Buddhist University for such an incredible gift that benefits all of us.” — Mendocino Sheriff's Office