Pictured: Frank Rivera delivers 45 N-95 masks, 200 reusable latex gloves, 12 packs of disinfectant wipes, feminine hygiene products, and food to the New Rochelle Community Action Program.
When reports predicted looming shortages of masks, gloves, and supplies, New York Tech students, including those in the Student Veterans Organization (SVO) and NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine (NYITCOM), wouldn’t let health care workers go unprotected.
New York Tech’s SVO sprung into action when they heard that volunteers putting packages together for those in need were also in need themselves. Marine Corps student veteran Brian Suriel, a junior majoring in computer science and treasurer of the New York Tech SVO chapter, had the idea to raise funds to help the community.
“New York Tech’s Student Veterans Organization wanted to get involved any way we could, no matter how big or small,” says Suriel. “As transitioning veterans, it is in our DNA to help others whenever possible. This global pandemic has sparked so much fear and uncertainty that gestures like this give our community hope and displays to the public that we can all help.”
The SVO raised $725 to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as other medical supplies and food for the New Rochelle Community Action Program, which advocates for impoverished and minority constituencies, and Soulful Synergy, a socially conscious consulting company whose goal is to empower people, organizations, and communities to thrive by connecting them to opportunities.
“They are putting themselves at risk for the community, and we believe they need protection too,” says Frank Rivera, M.S., director of the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs.
The SVO collected 45 N-95 masks, 200 reusable latex gloves, 12 packs of disinfectant wipes, feminine hygiene products, and food, and on March 31, Rivera made the delivery to the New Rochelle Community Action Program. “I made this donation alone as I did not want to put any of my students at risk,” he says.
“It is not in our nature to stand idly by while we know we can help, even if that help is limited,” says Rivera. “This crisis has touched us all in some way or another. We will continue to do everything in our power to help our community.”
NYITCOM student Willis Lin spearheaded efforts to provide supplies to local health care facilities and hospitals. Photo credit: Serenilite.com
In addition, first-year medical student Willis Lin, who also serves as social media chair of NYITCOM’s Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), has spearheaded efforts to provide supplies to local health care facilities and hospitals. Prior to the outbreak, Lin, who had volunteered at New York City hospitals, saw firsthand the negative impact of stress and health. In response, he started his own company. Serenilite produces stress balls, fidget spinners, and other anti-stress gadgets. Now he’s using his company’s resources to create and supply critical PPE to city hospitals and local health care providers, including the Academic Health Care Centers.
“Given the severity of the current pandemic, I thought that it would be right to provide the tools necessary to protect our health care workers,” says Lin. “Serenilite is currently working on donating 2,000 surgical masks towards NYITCOM SOMA efforts in New York City, and 1,000 surgical masks to both NYITCOM’s Long Island and Jonesboro campuses, respectively.”