In a Toronto Star article, written by Mike Adler of toronto.com, dated April 30, 2020, Dr. Wong is credited with starting StopCOVID19gta.com which imported 200,000 medical masks to hospitals in Toronto, York and Peel regions, during the Easter long weekend. Approximately 60,000 pieces reached social services agencies, nursing homes and seniors’ buildings.
Dr. Wong is quoted as saying, “I’m ordering 300,000 more”. His latest project is distributing 15 million pieces of PPE from the Greater Toronto Area to long-term care and retirement homes across the country.
The article goes on to say the initiative is “called CAPES – the Canadian Alliance to Protect and Equip Seniors Living – and it’s made a normally competitive industry come together.”
Please see the Toronto Star or toronto.com for further details.
The Canadian Ethnic Media Association, CEMA, has joined forces with ‘The Stop Covid-19 Fundraising Campaign’ to harness the involvement and potential support of ethnocultural communities in Canada. In making the announcement, CEMA Chair, Madeline Ziniak, said “by encouraging our membership to reach out and engage their audiences and networks, CEMA is playing a vital role in the fight to Stop Covid-19”.
Led by Dr. Joseph Wong, and with the help of many volunteers and supporters, the campaign carries a mandate to mobilize Canadians of all ethnicities to work together in solidarity, to show our support and care to all frontline medical and paramedical professionals and vulnerable groups in Toronto by supplying them personal protective equipment (PPE). The campaign will also promote anti-racist, anti-discrimination messages and unity of humankind.
Following is the Media Release sent out by The Stop Covid-19 Fundraising Campaign on April 8, 2020.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“ STOP Covid-19 ” Fundraising Campaign
Call to Arms: Race for PPE to Support Frontline Health Workers
Together, We Will Prevail!
TORONTO, April 8, 2020 – As Toronto heads towards a critical phase in the Covid-19 pandemic, the healthcare system is under immense strain. Frontline healthcare workers are facing shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, gloves, isolation gowns and respirators. Some have even become infected with the virus. Frontline healthcare workers need our staunch support across all communities to battle this war.
To show our support and appreciation, Dr. Joseph Y. K. Wong, Founder and Chair Emeritus, Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care, and past Chair, United Way Greater Toronto, has partnered with over 100 volunteers, doctors, NGOs and GTA municipalities, to launch a 2-million dollar fundraising campaign “STOP Covid-19”, to source PPE for our frontline healthcare heroes.
Given the urgency and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, even before the campaign’s public appeal, organizers had to borrow $600,000 from their personal contacts to order 500,000 medical and N95 masks. The first shipment of 200,000 medical masks will be arriving shortly. Additional purchase order of PPE will continue with the support of the campaign.
Many newcomers are eager to contribute. “One of the biggest supporters of this campaign is Mr. Lenny Wong, the CEO of Ocean Packers Inc., who is a three-time refugee from Cambodia to Vietnam, then to France, until settling down in Toronto.” Dr. Wong says, “Besides giving a very generous donation, Lenny loaned the campaign a quarter of a million dollars to kick start the PPE purchase.” To date, volunteers have pledged over $300,000 before mounting a public appeal for donation.
“All the PPE will be distributed through our trusted partners including municipal governments and the United Way Greater Toronto. Our goal is to divide our supplies according to the populations in Toronto, and the regions of York and Peel. Due to dire situations in certain hospitals, we will ensure a clear, logistical directive that will have the most impact on the fight against coronavirus.” Dr. Wong says.
“The reliability of the suppliers and the quality of the PPE are our top priorities.” Dr. Wong says, “The team of volunteers, many of them are experienced professionals and entrepreneurs, are acutely aware of our responsibilities of taking care of the donor dollars. We strive to ensure the equipment is up to the standard, while keeping the purchase price reasonable and receiving shipments in a timely manner.”
Dr. Wong recognizes the extraordinary impact this pandemic is having on the supply chain of PPE. “Countries including the US are turning to global suppliers for PPE and prices will skyrocket by the day, if not by the hour. The worst is yet to come if we aren’t prepared. We need to mobilize to save our home and healthcare workers. Canadians must act now!”
“By mobilizing Canadians from all different backgrounds, showing solidarity with the healthcare professionals and our country, together, we will prevail!” said, Hazel McCallion, 99, the former Mayor of Mississauga and the longest serving mayor in Canadian history.
Inquiries & Interviews:
Dr. Joseph Wong, (416) 806-0082; (416) 591-6837
Andi Shi, (416) 565-1843
Judy Yeung, (905) 828-6800
StopCovid19gta.com; [email protected]
For further information or to make a donation, please visit the Campaign website below: