The Long Beach Branch NAACP this week handed out face masks to residents of the New Hope Homes Senior Housing facility and the Carmelitos Senior Housing Project, continuing the organization’s coronavirus mission of helping reduce disparities in services among minority communities.
The Long Beach branch’s staff reached out to various organizations last week in search of masks, gloves and supplies. They had 500 face masks for frontline nurses and senior citizens on April 24. But then St. Mary Medical Center came through and donated nearly 20,000 gloves and masks.
As the coronavirus disease spreads across the world, kindness and compassion have also swept through communities near and far.
The Long Beach Branch NAACP, concerned about the disproportionate impact that African Americans face from the coronavirus, collected more than 500 masks for distribution Friday, April 17.
The branch received 60 requests for masks from nursing students, New Hope Home, 100 Black Men of Long Beach and the National Council of Negro Women.
The organization was able to carry out the operation from its Belmont Shore offices, thanks to the help of landlord Frank Conolla, who frozen the tenant’s rent.
“Together,” the Long Beach Branch NAACP said in a statement, “we can address the reports concerning the racial divide and the health disparities for African-Americans and other people of color.”
The branch is planning to extend its operation to children, as well, with Cal State Long Beach interns offering to provide virtual tutorial services for elementary and middle school students who need help. The organization is also seeking computers to offer students at home unable to complete school work.
“We’re at war right now with an unseen enemy that affects the whole world,” said Jesse Johnson, Jr., president and chapter founder of 100 Black Men of Long Beach said. “We have to help those who need it most right now so we partnered with the Long Beach NAACP to do anything we can.”
The branch will continue to donate masks to those in need as supplies come in, and seniors and other people who are at risk can reach out to the Long Beach Branch NAACP with their contact information to have masks shipped to them.