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.
“When the call to help came from the NAACP, the hospital did not hesitate to support our most vulnerable populations. Thank you to the Long Beach Chapter of the NAACP for organizing the distribution of essential items and for inviting St. Mary to participate,” said Carolyn Caldwell, SMMC Hospital President. “I am touched by the compassion and dedication of the hospital staff who not only provide excellent care to our patients, but go above and beyond to support every member of our community. I would also like to thank Kathy Dollarhide, CEM Director Disaster Resource Center/Trauma Surge Coordinator for leading this effort on behalf of St Mary Medical Center.
Residents from the housing centers and the surrounding community lined up along New York Street on Thursday, April 30, to receive gloves and masks outside the New Hope Homes center.
“Thank God for this and for you all,” Long Beach resident Adrienne Albert said. “I’ve been having to reuse the same three masks.”
Masks and gloves will also be mailed to seniors, frontline workers, nursing students and others who sent requests to the NAACP.
The Long Beach branch also recently launched a virtual tutoring program for low-income students. The program, offered through the NAACP’s college members, has already received more than 2,000 requests.
“This virus doesn’t discriminate,” said Naomi Rainey-Pierson, Long Beach Branch NAACP president. “We need to be a part of the solution. To give a voice to the voiceless and help communities most in need.”