【圣路易时报讯】据圣路易国际机构(International Institute of St. Louis)表示，在圣路易地区颇有规模的圣路易越南裔社区在这次新冠病毒疫情中，团结合作，共同缝制了超过5000个布口罩捐赠与圣路易地区医护人员及第一线抗疫英雄，回馈社区，充分融入美国主流社会。
圣路易越南裔非营利组织圣路易越南社区(St. Louis Vietnamese Community)会长Kristina Le表示，我和我的父母亲都是在国际机构赞助下来到美国，当时我只有四岁，我完全知道刚到美国来的难民是如何生存下去的，在这次新冠病毒疫情期间新来的移民难民会更加困难。
HOW IMMIGRANTS HELP OUR COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19
It is well known that immigrants help new immigrants find their way and thrive in our community every day. For the area’s long-established Vietnamese community members, this practice means assuming responsibility for supplying new refugees and immigrants who were sheltering at home with essential personal protective equipment (PPE).
To assist International Institute’s refugee clients, St. Louis Vietnamese Community, a nonprofit organization, organized individual seamstresses to sew 800 protective face masks and business owners to donate other PPE supplies that are in demand. Among the many clients who received the items were refugees who arrived just a week before the shelter-in-place orders took effect in St. Louis.
“My parents and I were sponsored by International Institute when we arrived in the U.S. when I was four,” said Kristina Le, president of St. Louis Vietnamese Community. “Knowing the hardships new arrivals face in a regular resettlement environment, coupled with COVID-19 and its regulations, I knew we would want to donate what was needed to IISTL and their efforts.”
“Everyone wanted to contribute to the ‘pay it forward’ momentum,” continues Le. “If people weren’t able to sew, they wanted to donate fabric. If they couldn’t donate, they wanted to help transport supplies. They wanted to help with deliveries.”
While the initial ask was for individuals to sew masks, Vietnamese business owners were quick to respond with donations of surplus hand sanitizer, disinfectant supplies, and face masks they already had at their businesses. Many who donated are employees or successful owners of area nail salons. Le was overwhelmed with the number of items they were collecting not just for the Institute, but for the St. Louis community.
Like many former refugees and immigrants, Le says their efforts came from a place of wanting to support anyone and everyone in the greater community they could. “If we’re able to provide an extra sewn mask for just one frontline worker or first responder, we’ve done our part,” she says.
“It’s been amazing to see all the efforts that the Vietnamese community has made to support our St. Louis neighbors,” adds Le.
St. Louis Vietnamese Community has donated more than 5,000 masks across the St. Louis area to hospitals and frontline worker offices, including Children’s Hospital, North County Post Office and St. Louis City and County Police Departments.
To help International Institute of St. Louis provide programs and services for refugees and immigrants, please support our efforts during COVID-19. Our goal is to help all new arrivals and foreign-born build communities that strengthen the St. Louis region.