HOUSTON – With medical supply shortage happening around the nation, Houstonians are making an effort to help in any way they can.
One woman was determined to act and do something to help her community by collecting hundreds of masks and other medical equipment to facilities in the Greater Houston area.
Elizabeth Nguyen is a proud Houstonian, who found herself not working after the coronavirus made its way to Harris County. Her work temporarily closed, but hospitals and medical facilities did not.
"Everything is closed, and I didn't want to sit there and not do anything, so I just decided what can I do?" Nguyen said. "And I just thought about it. I know a lot of offices."
So she called a laundry list of people in her network as well as businesses she didn’t know.
"I want to give Houston hope that we can get passed this," Elizabeth Nguyen said. "Why not use the supplies for people who need it on the frontlines now and then replenish later because they need it now."
Victory Smiles Dental Center is one of a laundry list of businesses she called.
"We're just trying to do our part as proud Americans," James Pham, Victory Smiles Dental Center Co-Owner and dentist, said.
“We’re forced to say at home, either you’re doing emergency services or staying at home so the least that we can do is chip in and help out,” Thanh Truong, a pediatric dentist and another co-owner of the Victory Smiles Dental Center, said.
They donated hundreds of masks, gowns, gloves, surgical caps and more.
"We just cleared our shelves," Pham said.
Nguyen delivered to the Memorial Heights Emergency Center, which is just minutes from where she lives. She said Houstonians take care of each other.
ER nurse Kristin Ward works at the Memorial Heights Emergency Center. She and her team work every day to save lives, despite the risk of Covid-19.
"I just want to help people. I think it's just something that I think is in us--the ones who do it. And I wouldn't do anything else," Ward said.
Ward said the supplies are vital and important to their everyday work with the virus.
"The protective equipment helps protect us here so that way we don't take it home because all of us have family, children, elderly parents, and so we want to keep them protected so that when we get home, they feel safe," Ward said.
Nguyen said she will continue to organize donations for those looking to help. She said it's simple.
“We will get passed this. I want to give Houston hope,” Nguyen said. “We should be protecting our people on the front lines. They always help us. We need to return the favor. I’m just the one putting it together. I’m just one little person doing it through texts and calls, but they’re the ones out there sacrificing.”
Ward said the Memorial Heights Emergency Center team members are proud to serve this community.
"We're here. We do our jobs. This is what we do--we don't think twice about it," Ward said. "I always loved being a nurse. I always wanted to help people."
Ward said these gestures are very meaningful.
"It's very important to have these things, and it's very amazing that people are willing to do things and donate to help us get through this," Ward said.
Nguyen said she is willing to continue to organize help. Those wanting to help can email her at email@example.com