Helping Hands - Hands For SoCal, a student initiative project based in Southern California
Andrew Kim, Gabriella Ang, Sophia Lee
June 27, 2020
March 2020, COVID-19 hit America. In California alone, there are over 120,000 cases of coronavirus as of June 6, 2020, and that number is still growing.
The coronavirus, COVID-19, is a respiratory virus that spreads through droplets that are formed through coughing or sneezing. Because of this, it is important that anyone who is sick or near anyone who is infected wear a mask to stop the spread of the virus. N95/KN 95 masks and surgical masks are extremely important in hospitals as well, because healthcare workers are in constant contact with infected patients. However, the increasing number of COVID-19 patients and the decreasing number of masks available pose a problem. “It’s no secret there is a national shortage” states one hospital official in Southern California.
The rapid spread of COVID-19 cases is leading to a shortage in the amount of equipment the hospitals have. It is essential that the equipment needed to treat patients safely and effectively be readily available for hospitals to use.
Without enough masks in hospitals, it is becoming more difficult for healthcare workers to keep themselves safe when treating COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, it is also dangerous for essential workers to be working without masks. Grocery stores and restaurant workers come into contact with many people during the day. In order to keep them safe, it is best that they wear a mask, as social distancing is not always possible in their workplaces.
As a response to this issue, a small group of students in Southern California saw the problem at hand and worked towards a solution.
Hands for SoCal/Hands for the Globe (HFSC) is a student-founded Nonprofit Organization whose purpose is to support local communities around Southern California and the World holistically. To these ends, HFSC was founded under the mission to serve all humans and maintain a philosophy of philanthropy to all humans around the world. Their goal is to become a “helping hand” in times of crisis to everyone that is suffering.
“We started as a three-student team based in Valley Christian School. And we used resources that we had at hands— such as computers and social media— to start our organization.” (Andrew Kim, President of HFSC)
HFSC started a small passion project from three Valley Christian Students, Andrew Kim (12), Gabriella Ang (12), and Sophia Lee (12). They used their knowledge of social media, Instagram, website building, and Photoshop to start a student NGO.
Through the Gofundme page and their website, these students have started receiving online donations that are being used to buy KN-95 masks and surgical masks that are donated to their local communities.
“We started with some money we collected from school from other fundraising projects to buy masks from Asia to donate to local hospitals” (Andrew Kim, President of HFSC)
In the process, they have established a network of students and schools over the Southern California area as well as an international branch. In Southern California, they have created five branches based on different areas and schools: Valley Christian Branch, Maranatha Christian Branch, Sunny Hills Branch, Oxford Academy Branch, and Fairmont Prep Branch. They are continuing to expand their branches. For their overseas branch, they created Hands For the Globe where they have started to operate in Korea, Japan, Cambodia, and Nepal. Through these branches, they have sent over 500 masks to our local Californian hospitals and 130,000 masks to all over hospitals in mainland Japan as of June 6th, 2020.
“Even though we are just high school students, we believe that our small efforts can truly change the world. We have a passion and a cause to be “a helping hand” around us.” (Gabriella Ang, Vice President of HFSC)
They have also worked on different initiatives
and projects to help their communities to be aware of the dangers of COVID-19 and give helpful tips on flattening the curve on Instagram and their website.
“After all, this is a global crisis, and everyone must play a part in fighting off the “invisible enemy” (Sophia Lee, Valley Christian Branch Director)
“Our school, Valley Christian High School, has taught us to serve others and ask nothing in return, so let’s fight this virus together and join the global movement to fight off COVID-19. Any donation, big or small, will play an integral role in this movement, bringing our communities one step closer to relief and safety. You can find us at
https://www.gofundme.com/f/hands-for-socal?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1 or our main website -- https://www.handsforsocal.com/ to donate to our cause.
Right now, we are hoping to expand our program to donate more masks around our communities. We also ask for your help in spreading this message to others. The more people that hear about us, the more impact we will have in our communities. Let’s make a difference!”
(Andrew Kim, President of HFSC)
HFSC is planning to also expand to cultural aspects of COVID-19 by sponsoring an online art show, Cultural Revitalization Projects, where any students can submit work of art, writing, or anything creative to showcase. For more information, you can visit their website, Instagram, or even contact the board members.
“I believe that the culture stopped but as students, we can restart the culture. We have our pens, pencils, computers, and our creative minds to truly revitalize our world.” (Andrew Kim, President of HFSC)