In this unprecedented time surrounding the COVID-19 crisis, everything has been put to a screeching halt from school closures to shelter-in-place orders; many parents have been overwhelmed with balancing work at home while healthcare professionals are fighting the coronavirus at the front line.
Several hospitals in the San Diego area have suffered a severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses. This medical mask shortage prompts hospitals to decontaminate and reuse masks that are supposed to be disposable. On social media, healthcare professionals are continuously requesting public donations of medical masks. In response, members of Youth Golf Alliance, a student-run organization composed of local high school golf varsity team members, stepped up to address these needs. They immediately launched an online personalized tutoring service to local kids from grades K through 9, aiming to help students learn and feel supported in their virtual coursework while raising funds for this rapidly escalating need of PPE at the front line.
Kenny Zhang, Sofina Firouzi, and Spencer Zhang from Canyon Crest Academy, Laura Zhou from Pacific Ridge School, Ensley Uyeda from Westview High School, Johnavon Kim and Jacob Zhang from Torrey Pines High School have utilized their high school experience and knowledge to tutor younger students ranging in subjects from English, math, Spanish, history, Mandarin, and biology. With this heartwarming community support pouring in from the online tutoring sessions, these members were able to raise funds to procure raw materials for making face shields in just four days. With a low-cost, high-throughput in-home assembly strategy combined with his creativity, Spencer Zhang, the founder and president of Youth Golf Alliance, handmade 300 face shields in a couple of days. On April 24, a combination of 1,000 face shields and surgical face masks from the generous donation of BayHelix Group was delivered to Palomar Health, a local hospital with campuses in Escondido and Poway, which are the designated COVID-19 patient treatment centers.
Representing Youth Golf Alliance, Zhang delivered the boxes with an inspiring message to the healthcare professionals: “We were touched by the trust of parents who put faith in us by allowing their children to be tutored by our members, and by their generosity of making the donations. Quite a few of the parents themselves are working tirelessly as front-line healthcare providers in local hospitals. The encouraging words from them speak volumes and further motivate us to continue our effort. Your dedication does not go unnoticed, and constantly reminds us that we are all in this together.”