As coronavirus cases continue to surge, doctors, nurses and other front-line medical workers have been confronting a dire shortage of personal protective equipment, such as masks, surgical gowns, and eye gear to protect them from the virus. Fortunately, the urgent increase in the need of PPEs has also dovetailed with an increase of local volunteerism and engagement. As part of a continuing series of donations, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas and Bishop Ulmer helped deliver more than 5,000 masks to the Martin Luther King Jr Community Hospital, located in the Watts/Willowbrook community of South Los Angeles.
“Once again, the faith community that’s been here from the beginning, has reappeared in the midst of this crisis making these 5,000 PPEs possible,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “We thank Bishop Kenneth Ulmer and the Faithful Central Church as well as Mr. Figures, the philanthropist in Florida who sponsored this donation to help the people in the Watts/Willowbrook community.”
“We see the needs of the community and the opportunity to serve those needs. Working with this donor, we wanted to make sure that these PPEs went to places that might be overlooked,” said Bishop Kenneth Ulmer of Faithful Central Bible Church.
“We are very grateful for this donation. We have one of the most underserved communities in the country. We have healthcare workers putting their health on the line every day, taking care of the community, taking care of many COVID-19 patients, and having these supplies is absolutely critical,” said Dr. Elaine Batchlor, CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital. “We really appreciate the outpouring of support that we’re getting from our community.”
This is the second in a series of donations to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital facilitated by Supervisor Ridley-Thomas. Previous donations included hand sewn masks and gowns from a group of volunteers that included Judge Teresa Sanchez-Gordon, former Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, and local West Adams costume designer Mylette Nora.
COVID-19 has presented a unique challenge of unprecedented scale and impact. Even as institutions, families, and communities across LA County confront momentous economic and social challenges, the spirit of generosity and community togetherness has shone incandescently. Taken together, these donations have a tremendous impact on LA County’s ability to successfully overcome this virus.
In reference to the increased efforts of community volunteerism such as this one, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said, “We couldn’t be prouder. LA County is here for you!”