Addison High Schoolers Raise Money for Masks, Food Pantries

The friends were able to work with a manufacturer in China to secure high-quality masks for local health care workers

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Tuesday’s #SomethingGood is something incredible three high school students from Greenhill School in Addison are doing.

The three girls saw the need for high-quality, medical-grade masks for health care workers and started their own fundraiser to successfully donate 1,080 masks to UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

But the back story makes this gift even more special.

Sophomores Sherry Tang and Christine Yan, and freshman Hannah Zhou all come from Chinese-American families. They say the rise in xenophobia against Asian-Americans over the last few weeks was disheartening. Individuals and entire families have been targeted in the U.S. and other parts of the world for misunderstandings about the coronavirus' origins.

“I don’t think there’s much I can do to stop them, these people are always going to have their prejudiced beliefs,” said Zhou.

However, the girls said they moved past that to rise up and help their community.

“It has been a very amazing experience because this experience has really taught us how to stand together,” said Tang.

Within five days, they created a fundraiser to collect over $3,400 in cash, receiving donations from strangers in North Texas and around the world.

The greatest difficulty was not raising money, but acquiring high-quality masks like N95, which local hospitals were running low on. Yan’s mother was able to work direct connections to actual mask manufacturers in China — which is no easy feat. They were able to place an order for CE-certified FFP2 masks, the equivalent to N95.

Their contacts were so touched by the girls' mission to help North Texas health care workers, that they put in a request to the manager of a medical manufacturer in China, who retrieved masks from another larger shipment at significantly discounted rates so they could buy even more masks with the money raised.

“Doing this made me realize that there are a lot of loving and supportive people out there,” said Tang.

The manufacturer workers even worked overtime to make sure the girls got the masks as quickly as possible.

“I know especially with this pandemic all over the world, it’s been hard for everyone and the fact that they were willing to put in extra hours to help us even in a completely different country, we’re just really grateful for them,” said Yan.

“The factory workers went overtime without pay willingly to keep our order on time. We are super grateful,” said Zhou.

The girls are donating the $2,000 they have left from the initial fundraiser to Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano and the North Texas Food Bank so that families can eat throughout the crisis.

Their fundraiser is still ongoing and they hope to continue their mission. If you would like to help, click here.

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