Houston non-profit donates protective masks nationwide

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Non-profit SEWA is not only working to find plasma for a Texas Medical Center patient, but it is also helping those on the front lines to stop the spread of coronavirus and treat the sick by supplying them with personal protection equipment.

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The supplies belong to SEWA, a Hindu faith-based humanitarian charity, whose mission is disaster recovery. They had more than 20,000 masks stockpiled and managed to buy an extra 8,000.

They have 3,000 left.

"We started donating from our supply and we shipped to San Mateo County in California in the Bay Area," said volunteer Gitesh Dewai. "We provided this in Georgia. In the New York, New Jersey area. I'm getting text messages from Pennsylvania and Chicago. "

They are going fast. Volunteer Achalesh Amar said so far they have distributed close to 25,000 masks and have placed orders for 300,000 that are on the way.

They also donate meals, with the help of restaurants, to local first responders in healthcare, fire and police.

Some of the supplies stay in the Houston area too.

"If this continues for more than four to six weeks we will run out," said volunteer Dr. Radha Rao, who is also a physician at Baylor College of Medicine. "We all are on groups, mostly on WhatsApp, and delivering as needed. "

Additionally, SEWA manages a group of doctors, connecting them through social media so they can communicate about needs and issues as they arise.

"I think Houston is doing a remarkable job," said Dr. Rekha Neela, another volunteer. "Maybe because we also had a heads up and Texas Medical Center being a leader. "

To volunteer, help with supplies, or in need of supplies, call the help line at 281-909-SEWA.

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