How community organizations in Ontario and China’s Gansu province helped each other during the pandemic

A non-profit organization has been giving back to the community by supporting local and overseas hospitals during a PPE shortage caused by the pandemic

CGFCC making a donation at North York General Hospital

The Chinese community in Canada has shown its strength and solidarity during the pandemic. Thousands of organizations were contributing to help the vulnerable groups in the surge of COVID-19 cases.

The Canada Gansu Federation of Chamber of Commerce (CGFCC) is an organization established in Toronto by Chinese immigrants from the Gansu province of China. The organization held two fundraising campaigns to support the frontline health-care workers in both Canada and China.

China was the epicentre of the pandemic at its start in February 2020. The CGFCC held its first fundraising campaign concerning the PPE shortage in response to a call to action from the Gansu Returned Overseas Chinese Federation, a government organization that aims to create bonds overseas.

Within two days, the CGFCC raised $15,000 and purchased 25 boxes of PPE, including of N95 masks, gloves, and medical gowns. These supplies were donated to four hospitals in Gansu.

Their kindness was returned to them when the pandemic later hit Canada in a profound way. 

Watch: CGFCC Supports frontline health-care workers

Back in May 2020, Canada was in its first wave of the pandemic. Positive cases were climbing and local hospitals were suffering from a PPE shortage of their own.

“We really needed more supplies, especially during the beginning of the pandemic,” said Diana Ji, a registered ICU nurse at Mackenzie Health Hospital.

“The hospitals suddenly thought that we need to conserve PPE, so they were rationing everything, and not allowing us to easily access masks.”

Gansu company donates goggles to Canadian hospitals

A 3D printing company from Gansu donated 900 pairs of goggles to help the Canadian hospitals in response to CGFCC’s fundraising campaign. Within days, hospitals in the GTA received the donation from overseas. 

Frontline health-care workers in the GTA hospitals wearing the goggles from Gansu. PHOTO COURTESY OF CGFCC

“The pandemic knows no borders,” said Don Valley North MPP Vicent Ke in a recent interview in Chinese. “We saw that the pandemic was very serious and the health-care workers were on the front line. They put their lives in danger to save others. We would like to help protect them.” 

Ke also presented the efforts made by the Chinese community throughout the pandemic at Queen’s Park. Premier Doug Ford sent out letters of appreciation to the organizations for their work, including CGFCC.

There are many organizations out there just like CGFCC. Members of the Chinese community in Ontario have been finding their own ways to bond with the countries they love and helping those in need.

CGFCC donating goggles to Bethune Medical Development Association of Canada. PHOTO COURTESY OF CGFCC

The history of the Chinese community in Canada dates back to the early 1800s. Many people immigrated to Canada to continue pursuing their dream by the virtue of diversified Canadian culture. As of today, the Chinese community accounts for at least 4.6 per cent of the Canadian population

Immigrating to a new country is challenging, especially for the first-generation immigrants who grew up in a completely different cultural background. Organizations from the Chinese community were founded to support each other and to promote the connection between the two countries they love deeply. CGFCC was one of them.

Importance of support between countries

Jonathan Sui, its president, is dedicated to volunteer work. As a first-generation immigrant from Gansu, he knows how long it can take to feel settled in Canada.

“After immigrating to Canada, I want to help out the community in addition to my day-to-day work. Communicating with minorities and people in need is one of the responsibilities for us volunteers,” Sui told the Toronto Observer in Chinese. 

Hospitals have sufficient medical supplies and many frontline health-care workers have been vaccinated. But many people impacted by the pandemic still need help. According to Ke, some vulnerable groups, such as social housing tenants in Toronto, are still struggling with a lack of food and supplies. 

CGFCC and all the members of the Chinese community are continuing their efforts to help those in need and spread positivity throughout the pandemic.

Read more stories related to COVID-19 kindness from the Toronto Observer:

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Posted: Apr 10 2021 9:02 pm
Filed under: Community News