UA3 Battles against COVID-19 in New York City
UA3 Lower Manhattan Food Bank
UA3 is Working for Our Community
We have been working since the beginning for New York City.
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Starting, April 10, 2020, an additional 10,729 New Yorkers were confirmed to have been stricken with COVID-19 and another 777 were lost to this illness. While many are watching the daily counts anxiously in the safety of their own home, first responders and medical personnel continue to fight the war against this invisible enemy to save lives. As we are all in this together, under the leadership of its president, Mr. Don Hong, UA3 (a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization) has joined forces and in collaboration with other community leaders and non-profit organizations, as well as elected officials - including Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, to bring some comfort and a show of unity and support to these frontline heroes.
As they have been doing in the past few weeks, another 130 gourmet meals (from the Rasa Malaysian Restaurant, 25 W. 8th Street, Manhattan) of stewed beef curry with potatoes, chicken basil fried rice, and vegetable and tofu teriyaki, as well as the much needed surgical masks, were personally delivered this afternoon (April 10, 2020) to the staff of the New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital (NYPLMH) by UA3 Board Member, Mr. Chi Loek, and volunteer Mr. Jasper Diaz.
[From left to right: Hui Man Lai, Community Affair, NYPLMH; Juan Mejia, Senior VP & COO, NYPLMH; Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President; Staff member, NYPLMH; Anthony Gagliardi, Chief Medical Officer, NYPLMH; Chi Loek, UA3 Board Member; and Jasper Diaz, UA3 Volunteer]
UA3, a not-for-profit 501(C)(3) organization, which mission is to serve the community, is honored to be able to join forces with many caring New Yorkers and organizations to contribute in any way possible to support our frontline fighters. This includes community leaders such as Charles P. Wang, John Lam, Robin Mui, Bentley Zhao, and Mona So, as well other not-for-profit organizations including but not limited to: the American Buddhist Confederation; Wenzhou Association of Industry & Commerce of America; American Hotel Owners Charitable Association, Inc.; NYC Chinese American Support Corp; and China AIDs Fund, Inc.
In collaboration with the Borough President of Brooklyn, Eric L. Adams, and together with other community partners, UA3 was able to bring meals and beverages as well as a supply of donated masks to frontline workers at the University Hospital of Brooklyn, Kings County Hospital and Medical Center, Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, as well as the New York Community Hospital in Brooklyn. Further, critically needed masks, donated by the American Hotel Owners Charitable Association were also delivered to the NYPD.
On April 2, 2020, in collaboration with Margaret Chin, City Council Member from District 1, UA3 Board Members - Don Hong and Chi Loek, along with volunteers, personally delivered another 75 hot meals, cooked by the chef of the Rasa Malaysian Restaurant in Manhattan, as well as surgical masks, and a supply of surgical gowns donated by the our community partners to the Bellevue Hospital as another act of our appreciation.
On April 4, 2020, another emergency supply of PPEs, 75 surgical gowns donated by American Hotel Owners Charitable Association, Inc. and the NYC Chinese American Support Corp. were delivered to The Brooklyn Hospital Center by Mr. Chi Loek.
These acts of appreciation were funded privately through generous personal donations as well as savings from the reserves of UA3 and from not-for-profit organizations mentioned above. UA3 has recently set up a Charity-GoFundMe page to raise more money to support this endeavor and hopes that many from the community will support these efforts. As we all know, any government funding will only be enough to be used towards the procurement of PPEs, medical equipment and supplies and services. There is no funding dedicated to bringing a bit of comfort and support to our frontline workers. Any contribution would be a small way of just saying WE DO CARE and WE THANK YOU to those who sacrifice so much for us.
As of 4/15/20, in NYC, the number of people confirmed with COVID-19 is at least 110,465. Medical personnel continue to relentlessly care for hospitalized patients and to fight fearlessly to save lives of those who are critically ill. UA3, a not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to serve the community, has not eased up on its effort to support these frontline workers. As they have been doing with various hospitals in the City since the start of this crisis, today, Thursday, 4/16/2020, along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, another 100 meals from Rasa Malaysian Restaurant (25 W. 8th Street, Manhattan) and 10 cases of Dino Luzzi energy drinks, donated by IFBC, as well as a supply of PPEs, will be delivered to Harlem Hospital Center in Manhattan at noon by UA3 Board member, Mr. Chi Loek and volunteers, Ms. Frances Wong and Mr. Jasper Diaz. Ms. Sylvia White, Deputy Executive Director of NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem states: “These meals of curried beef and other Malaysian treats will be very well received by our team who have been working around the clock to serve this community who needs and deserves extra care”.
In addition to supporting frontline workers, UA3 is proud and excited to announce that a food pantry program will be started at the location of the Chung Pak Senior Housing at 148 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013.
While Mayor DeBlasio announced yesterday that he will be committing millions to ensure New Yorkers don’t go hungry, nevertheless, until that happens, many are going without basic meals or sustenance at this moment. In recognition of this immediate need, Mr. Don Hong, UA3 Board President, has successfully teamed up with Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Pastor Dr. Bill Jones of Manor Community Church, and in partnership with Chung Pak Board President, Sherman Eng; Po Ling Eng; David Chen; and Mr. Charles Lai, Executive Director of Chung Pak, LDC as well as the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation to bring a food pantry program to the heart of NYC Chinatown where many seniors and economically vulnerable population reside.
Pastor Dr. Bill Jones operates a food pantry program at the Manor Community Church (350 West 26th Street) for many years where volunteers filled up grocery carts to distribute food (bread, fruit, dessert, salad, frozen meat) donated by Trader Joe’s a few times a week. And thanks to the generosity of the Trader Joe’s Company, there are sufficient supply to share and expand support to other locations in the city. Due to UA3’s long relationship with Manor Community Church in support of its food pantry program, Mr. Don Hong seized this opportunity to work out a coordinated effort with Pastor Bill to bring this food pantry program also to Chinatown. With additional funding support from UA3, the first truckload of grocery and food items is expected to be delivered to Chung Pak by 1:00 p.m. this afternoon. Chung Pak LDC and Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation will coordinate the distribution of the food and groceries to the community.
It has been 52 days since COVID-19 was first confirmed on March 1st in New York City. From that day, our first responders - the fire fighters and EMS medics - have been working non-stop to respond to drastic increases and exponential demand in calls for help and cries to save lives. During its peak, on March 30th, there were more than 6,500 calls to 911 over a 24-hour period in New York City.
UA3 wants to make sure that efforts of these first responders who fight so valiantly and heroically to keep us safe, are not forgotten. On Monday, 4/20/20, in coordination with the FDNY Phoenix Society and Captain Man Wai Law, Mr. Chi Loek and Mr. Jasper Diaz from UA3 delivered hot lunches, and Mr. Roger Ho and Chairman Dino Luzzi of IFBC company also delivered cases of Dino Luzzi Energy drinks to FDNY EMS Station 44 in Brooklyn as a token of gratitude.
On that same afternoon, Mr. Loek and Mr. Diaz proceeded to go to the newly opened Chung Pak / UA3 Food Bank, where truckloads of fresh fruit, produce, baked goods, and groceries donated by Trader Joe’s were delivered, to help with packing and bagging of the groceries. This is only food bank in Chinatown now serving lower Manhattan and this service couldn’t have come to the aid of this community in a better or more critical time. During this COVID-19 crisis, seniors and other vulnerable residents are struggling to get food not only due to economic hardships, but also because most stores in this area are closed and few that are opened have long lines and higher prices. During its first opening day, among those from the community, including President of Grand Street Guild and her son (as shown at the left), many seniors and home attendants from Chung Pak Senior Housing were able to receive fresh groceries. Ms. Gigi Li from Councilmember Margaret Chin’s office also enlisted the help of her husband to deliver groceries to various tenement buildings on Mott and Pell Streets. Chinatown Partnership LDC also mobilized volunteers to help. In addition to bringing much needed relief, this food bank will also serve as a conduit for communication, as important helpful information including available assistance and financial aid programs will be disseminated also in Chinese - as many seniors and new immigrants from this community are not English proficient. The first task in publicizing such critical need is to include in each bag of groceries, a flyer urging inclusion and participation in the 2020 census count. As Ms. Liz OuYang, a coordinator of New York Count 2020, who is actively seeking to ensure a fair and accurate census count, said: “Thank you Chi and UA3. You accomplished very important things today – feeding the hungry and securing basic programs to protect them for the next ten years – a very productive day indeed.” She also noted that today, Chinatown Manhattan and Brooklyn’s response rate on the census are low compared to other parts of the city.
The next time this food bank is scheduled to open is this Thursday, 4/23/20, where more than 500 bags of groceries are expected to be distributed to the public. To avoid long lines and social distancing problems, distribution will be coordinated through Councilwoman Margaret Chin’s office where groceries will be brought to various buildings in the area for local distribution. To support this operation, the Board of UA3 has committed to hire two part-time drivers/helpers to support the transport and processing of food distribution. UA3 expects to support this effort for at least the next two months and hopes that funds raised through its GoFundMe effort will be able to offset further ongoing expenses.
In addition to its ongoing partners and collaborators, UA3 wishes to thank all who had generously donated through the UA3 Charity-GoFundMe site, as well as to thank and acknowledge the following donors: Trader Joe’s; IFBC Company for Dino Luzzi Energy Drinks; iFresh, Inc. for grocery bags; Sherman Eng, President of Chung Pak for 2000 surgical masks, sanitizers and alcohol sprays; and to Andrew Yuk Sing Yu for N95 masks and goggles. UA3 also would like to thank Pastor William Jones and volunteers from Manor Community Church; Wellington Chen, from Chinatown Partnership LDC, and volunteers from Chung Pak. Further, a big shout-out to Don Hong, Chi Loek and Jasper Diaz who have been working extremely hard at all fronts to enlist support and to personally making it all happen.
UA3, a not-for-profit 501(C)(3) organization, whose mission is to serve the community, is honored to be able to join forces with many caring New Yorkers and organizations to contribute in any way possible to support our frontline fighters, and now with new partnerships to also bring food to the underserved in the community.
UA3’s partnership also include community leaders such as Charles P. Wang, John Lam, Robin Mui, Bentley Zhao, and Mona So, as well other not-for-profit organizations including but not limited to: the American Buddhist Confederation; Wenzhou Association of Industry & Commerce of America; American Hotel Owners Charitable Association, Inc.; NYC Chinese American Support Corp; and China AIDs Fund, Inc.