Stunning and Unexpected Gifts from the Community
Bank of the West, Tesla, Target, celebrities, school teachers, donut shops and others deliver “stunning, unexpected” gifts to Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital to help fight COVID-19
Bank of the West is the latest major funder to step forward with a significant show of support—$350,000 in unrestricted funds—for Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital’s (MLKCH) efforts to fight COVID-19 in the South Los Angeles community it serves.
The gift came as a surprise, according to Dyan Sublett, president of the MLK Community Health Foundation, which supports MLKCH’s work.
“This is a stunning gift that will make a major contribution to keeping our front line workers safe and healing the bodies and spirits of our highly vulnerable community,” said Dyan Sublett, president of the MLK Community Health Foundation, which supports the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Hospital. “We are incredibly thankful for this extraordinary and unexpected act of generosity from Bank of the West. And we are thankful for all the wonderful people and organizations that have stepped forward to support our community.”
In addition to the Bank of the West, MLKCH has received highly-needed gifts of medical equipment and supplies from other major corporations, including Tesla, which donated 20 Variable Positive Airway pressure (VPAP) machines to the hospital, and Easy Breathe, who donated an additional 6 AirCurve BiPAP machines.
Support has come in surprising ways. Target Corporation emptied its Southern California stores for MLKCH after an MLKCH emergency department nurse reached out by email. In total, Target will donate nearly 3,000 N95 masks.
The International Medical Corps, which normally provides emergency aid overseas, donated two large medical shelters, as well as 50 bedside monitors, giving the hospital additional triage and treatment space and capacity for the rising numbers of COVID-19 patients.
The business owner of a Willowbrook senior housing facility, as well as the Wade family (Zaya Wade, daughter of actress Gabrielle Union and her husband, former Miami Heat basketball player Dwayne Wade) each gave a substantial surprise gift to MLKCH. The hospital was selected because of its demonstrated success in providing quality care to a highly vulnerable community.
Along with generous outright gifts, MLKCH continues to receive an enormous outpouring of love and support from and for its South LA Community.
Local nail salons, warehouses and small businesses donated masks and gloves. Restaurants like The Golden Donut, Darrow’s New Orleans Grill and Burger Shop LA, supported by Wells Fargo and Big Sunday, fed front line hospital staff. Hollywood seamstresses and fashion designers organized to make hospital gowns to protect our staff. A high school teacher from Charles Drew Magnet High School of Science and Medicine wheeled a cart full of medical supplies across the street to the hospital’s front doors.
Nationally, individuals made gifts from Ohio, South Dakota, Minnesota and Georgia. The singer Halsey donated thousands of masks to MLKCH, as well as to other area hospitals. The rapper Snoop Dogg sent a donation of “Beyond Burgers” to hospital staff.
Uncertainties around the pandemic have created supply, equipment, and staffing challenges around the world. These shortages are especially worrisome to small community hospitals serving medically underserved communities like MLKCH. South Los Angeles, which suffers from a lack of primary and specialist care providers, has some of the worst health indicators in Los Angeles County.
“Our population is sicker than most, which means it is more vulnerable than most to COVID-19,” Sublett noted. “We need to have every tool available to us to confront what may be a very complex and painful surge in patients over the next few weeks.”
Generous donations to MLKCH include:
Critically needed medical devices
- 20 VPAP machines from Tesla
- Six BIPAP machines and BIPAP supplies from Easy Breathe
- One pediatric ventilator from Mending Kids
Essential, weather-resistant medical shelters
- Two all-weather medical shelters with capacity for 16 clinical beds from the International Medical Corps
Personal protective equipment (PPE)
Tens of thousands of items such as N95 and surgical masks, face shields, isolation gowns and nitro gloves from
- Plexis Services
- Harbor Freight
- Target Corp.
- Home Depot of Huntington Park
- Dr. Bob Girardi, DDS
- Operation Pac-Man
- Hollywood seamstresses and designers
- Charles Drew Magnet High School
- Xiamen University Alumni Association of Southern California
- Holy Spirit Vietnamese Choir at St. Christopher Catholic Church in honor of MLKCH nurse Mara Cid
- Anonymous donor in honor of an MLKCH nurse Fatemeh Kiani
- San Gabriel Hope Lions Club
- Double Tree by Hilton, San Pedro
- BAPS Charities
- And more
Special thanks goes to the restaurants and organizations that helped to deliver a ‘feed the front lines’ morale boost to MLKCH’s staff with nearly daily supplies of meals and snacks.
- Big Sunday and Wells Fargo
- Panda Restaurant Group, Inc.
- World Central Kitchen
- Burger Shop LA
- Dine 11 and Dulan's on Crenshaw
- Playa Provisions
- Grocery Outlet Inc.
- Chef Brooke Williamson
- Yakult U.S.A. Inc.
- Feed ER’s and Hawkins House of Burgers
- Cambodian-American Community Group, Inland Empire and Chinitos Tacos
- IKEA #162, Carson
- Beyond Meat and Snoop Dogg
- Door Dash
- Caviar Catering and Burrata House
- BAPS Charities
- And more
MLKCH whole heartedly thanks the above in addition to many other individuals and organizations sharing gifts during this time of crisis. If you are interested in supporting MLKCH, please visit http://mlk-chf.org/covid19-response.