Written by Caitlin Chiang and Edited by Mara Sugue
A new decade usually sparks a new beginning. A fresh new start whether that be advancing a career, improving one’s skills, reconnecting with loved ones, and a chance to start over with fresh eyes. But ironically, the decade instead welcomed us with a war, a kind of war unprecedented in the lives of many—COVID-19.
Unlike previous wars, the battlefield of this contagious disease is in the hospital, with health workers at the forefront — risking their lives daily in order to save lives. It is unfortunate then that these frontliners are put into battle with a lack of essential weapons and protection due to an overwhelmed healthcare system.
With this, a group of mothers, namely Dr. Tetris Tan, Charmaine Chua, and Jen Jao, came together to figure out a solution to the lack of protection that our frontliners are receiving. They took the initiative to speak out on the inadequate supply of PPEs available due to her profound concern for health workers.
Slowly, they started the hunt for materials in order to produce facemasks. With the help of the parents of Xavier School Batch 2028, Xavier Batch 2029, and parents of the Xavier 2012 Football Club, they were able to accomplish that goal. Jen, Tetris, and Charmaine have come together to settle down with the suppliers that Charmaine has contacted, allowing them to dispatch the necessary materials to the volunteers.
After further optimizations, they were eventually capable of producing thousands. Volunteers came forward, and it became a collaborative effort that these parents dedicated time in doing. Though initially worried that the effort may abruptly end due to a shortage of materials its scale, they believed that blessings just came at the right time and that they will not perish in the plight to create something for the betterment of this country.
Progressing forward, the group has now informally called themselves “The Xavier Parents Face Shield Group” or “XSFS Group – a collective effort of XS Parents Against COVID-19”. And with more people willing to participate in the creation of PPE face masks, they currently stand at 4169 masks across 65 different local hospitals — all from sheer will and pure intentions.
This whole situation shows that citizens are able to do something great, do something impactful — as long as they are willing to. We are at a point in time where unity and collaboration are needed more than ever, and small acts of compassion and empathy towards the struggling will eventually add up into something so incredible. Their example gives us hope that we can continue to fight for the protection of our way of life and a better tomorrow amidst the hurdles that may come.
You can also learn how to make these face shields in the video below:
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