Lena and Teresa Wu Start the Feed Your Hospital Initiative in NYC - An Inspiring Story in the Midst of COVID-19
We would like to share an inspiring story of giving featuring our colleague Teresa Wu—a financial services professional in our firm’s Chinatown, NY office—and her daughter, Lena Wu.
New York, NY., April 14, 2020 – When COVID-19 began to impact New York, many of us became concerned about the safety of our healthcare workers. A group of our financial services professionals living and working in New York’s Chinese American community voluntarily got together to purchase and deliver valuable N95 and surgical masks to local hospitals.
Lena, a 26-year old consultant working in NYC, wanted to contribute in her own way to help those on the front lines. She founded the Feed Your Hospital initiative, a program that collects donations online and distributes the money to local NYC restaurants. These restaurants create individually packaged meals and deliver them to local hospitals to feed healthcare workers. Underscoring Lena’s deep connection to her Asian-immigrant heritage, her program has emphasized working with immigrant-owned and Asian-owned restaurants and businesses that have been severely impacted.
“Many people ask me, ‘Why this? Why not masks?’” said Lena, “I would say that while masks are extremely important, our medical workers are not only doctors and nurses, they are cleaners, technicians, and other folks that work collectively in the hospital. I want to let them know that someone sees them, and I want to connect with these heroes on a very human level. To me, there is nothing better to convey that message than with delicious food!”
Lena’s initial fundraising goal was $5,000, but the overwhelming response she received surpassed the goal in just two days. She adjusted it to $10,000 only to find it quickly exceeded again a week later. She set a higher bar at $20,000 and as of April 13th, she has blown past that amount. She is currently working with Ascend Foundation to take Feed Your Hospital to the national level.
In the meantime, the program has delivered a total of 1,670 meals to the following NYC hospitals:
3/26 Mount Sinai Queens (Astoria) – 50 meals
3/27 NYC Health+ Jacobi (Bronx) – 100 meals
3/27 NYC Health+ Montefiore (Bronx) – 100 meals
4/2 Mount Sinai UES – 100 meals
4/4 NYU Langone Kimmel – 100 meals
4/4 NY-Presbyterian Weill Cornell – 100 meals
4/6 NYC Health+ Harlem – 100 meals
4/7 NY-Presbyterian Downtown – 125 meals
4/8 Kings County Medical Center (Brooklyn) – 50 meals
4/8 SUNY Downstate UHB – 50 meals
4/8 NY-Presbyterian Queens (Flushing) – 100 meals
4/9 NY-Presbyterian Downtown – 325 meals
4/9 NYC Health+ Elmhurst – 100 meals
4/10 NY-Presbyterian Gracie Square – 120 meals
4/10 Mount Sinai UES – 50 meals
4/13 NYC Langone Brooklyn – 100 meals
While hospitals are the primary beneficiary of Lena’s initiative, restaurants are benefiting as well; The revenue generated by the purchase of these meals has been a boost to local eateries—most of them small businesses—during this challenging time. Some of the program’s participating restaurants include:
Teresa is very supportive of Lena and has been instrumental in reaching out to the Chinese immigrant community, providing translation for this initiative and encouraging civic involvements especially among the younger generation of her friends and networks to help fund raise for this cause. In the midst of stay-at-home order in NYC, she combed Manhattan’s Chinatown for restaurant partners on behalf of this initiative. Despite fears of contracting COVID-19, she tried to locate these partners and discussed with them the process of delivering orders to hospitals. She personally connected Dim Sum Garden with this program and also coached them on creating nutritious bento-style meals with both vegetarian and nonvegetarian options.
We are so immensely proud of the work of this mother-daughter duo, who showed us that any one of us can make a difference! We thank you for sharing your amazing story.
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