Hundreds of Indian-American volunteers from BAPS Charities have been mobilized throughout the United States to assist their local communities as the COVID-19 pandemic permeates our society. Volunteers from BAPS Charities and its affiliate, BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha have endeavored to support local healthcare workers, hospitals, police and fire departments, senior citizens, children, as well as other vulnerable population groups.
Over 100,000 PPE Delivered to Healthcare Heroes
From the initial stages of the pandemic, BAPS Charities volunteers supplied much needed PPE (surgical masks, nitrile gloves, hand sanitizer, eye and face shields, etc.) for the healthcare community. Recipients of these much-needed supplies included hospital systems across the nation. Kimberly Hartz, CEO of Washington Hospital Healthcare System in Fremont, California, where over 5,000 masks were donated said, “It is so important to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff, and this donation helps a lot... For BAPS Charities to think about us means a lot. We have wonderful people working here, but we couldn’t do it without all the community support.”
BAPS Charities volunteers additionally recognized the need for PPE and other supplies amongst first responders. The organization donated surgical masks, N95 masks, and hand sanitizer to police departments across the country. “We are deeply touched by this initiative and grateful for BAPS Charities stepping up to help during this critical time. Such strong support is not only imperative to our response but a great morale boost for our staff,” said a representative of the Lowell, MA Police Department.
Over 50,000 Meals & Food Packages Delivered to Frontline Workers and Families
Recognizing the need to support frontline medical workers’ own health and well-being, BAPS Charities provided meals to frontline workers. Volunteers also reached out to provide care packages and food donations to vulnerable and affected families across the country.
In the greater Atlanta area, over 1,000 care packages were delivered to senior citizens and families in need and over 900 pounds of canned food were donated to the Gwinnett County School for students in need of meals.
In Chicago and its surrounding communities, over 400 meals were donated across various hospital systems which included Central DuPage Hospital, St. Alexius Medical Center, and Alexian Brother Medical Center. Michelle Johnston RN of St. Alexius Medical Center, said “The donations we get as a staff team truly keeps us going. With every meal provided to us from the community, we are reminded that there are so many people who care about us.”
Volunteers in communities around Los Angeles, California, delivered 7,500 hot meals and snacks to frontline workers
Hilda L. Solis, Los Angeles County Supervisor, commented: “The employees at Queen of the Valley Hospital in West Covina are the heroes of this moment. I thank BAPS Charities for providing meals to the hospital staff.”
Over $120,000 Donated to Hospitals, Schools and Community Organizations
Beyond the need for essential supplies, BAPS Charities provided financial support for COVID19-related equipment to many vital hospitals and organizations throughout the country.
BAPS Charities donated $10,000 to the Parkland Hospital Foundation located in Dallas, TX. David Lopez, Chief Operating Officer at Parkland Hospital expressed his appreciation: “We here at Parkland appreciate BAPS Charities and their donation. Donations of this nature go a long way to really allow us to meet community needs!”
In Chicago, Illinois, BAPS Charities donated $40,000 between Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital, St. Alexis Medical Center, and Alexian Brothers Medical Center.
In addition, organizations who serve the mental health and well-being of their communities were key beneficiaries of BAPS Charities financial assistance. In the greater Dallas, Texas area, BAPS Charities donated $7,500 across local community support organizations including Irving Cares, Brighter Tomorrows, and the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) of Texas. In New York, NY, BAPS Charities donated $5,000 to SAKHI for South Asian Women to assist women who are victims of domestic violence.
As most schools have closed, access to technology has become a concern to some families in need. In Charlotte, North Carolina, BAPS Charities provided $5,000 to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ CMS Foundation for Chromebooks and Wi-Fi hotspots to facilitate remote learning.
Nilkanth Patel, a volunteer and organizer of many BAPS Charities activities based in Houston, TX, expressed his views on the relief efforts: “We sincerely commend and thank all of the volunteers who have spent countless hours in providing relief and support to the true heroes – the first responders and healthcare professionals fighting to save lives affected by COVID-19. Our volunteers have exemplified the Hindu concept of seva, or the spirit of service, by being able to support these frontline heroes as needed. This is a global pandemic. We need everyone to do their part, because ultimately we can only overcome this when we work together.”
In addition to the relief efforts in the United States, BAPS Charities in Canada has donated over 13,000 PPE to support 13 hospitals, in addition to delivering over 3,200 food packages in 43 cities. In the UK, over 9,900 meals have been delivered to those in need. In India, where food security is critical, volunteers have provided over 4 million meals in addition to 1.7 million vegetables and 6.2 million pounds of grains during the nationwide lockdown.
BAPS Charities Volunteers Coordinate National Response during COVID-19
For further details about the above efforts and information regarding supporting the ongoing BAPS Charities COVID-19 visit the following links.
Global Relief Work: https://www.baps.org/covid19
About BAPS Charities
BAPS Charities is a global charity active in nine countries across five continents. Volunteers drive its efforts, dedicating a portion of their lives in selfless service of others, both in their local neighborhoods as well as globally. Working in five key areas, BAPS Charities aims to express a spirit of selfless service through Health Awareness, Educational Services, Humanitarian Relief, Environmental Protection & Preservation and Community Empowerment. From organizing Walkathons that raise funds for local and global needs, to supporting humanitarian relief in times of urgent need; from hosting community health fairs to sustaining hospitals and schools in developing countries, BAPS Charities provides an opportunity for individuals wishing to serve locally and globally.