Chinese community steps up with COVID-19 fundraising effort for P.E.I. health-care system

P.E.I.’s Chinese community is gathering together in a difficult time to say thank you to their new home on the Island.

$19K and counting

Ally Guo, owner of a P.E.I. publication that helps newcomers navigate life in Canada, is part of the fundraising effort. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

P.E.I.'s Chinese community is gathering together in a difficult time to say thank you to their new home on the Island.

It has raised thousands of dollars to assist P.E.I.'s health-care system adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A lot of people have been immigrants from China to P.E I. and we feel like we are very grateful for everything here," said Ally Guo, who runs a webpage helping Chinese immigrants connect with P.E.I. society.

"It is $19,000 but it's getting more because I know more and more people are trying to donate money."

Guo noted they are all part of the P.E.I. community now, so in helping out they are also helping themselves.

Some of the money raised, $9,000, has already been spent. It went to personal protective equipment for nursing homes. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation has received a cheque for the other $10,000. It is looking for a mobile dialysis machine for the new COVID-19 ICU.

Education opportunity

Guo said a local immigrant entrepreneur is also helping in another way. The company Robot Hope is offering free coding lessons for students who aren't in school because of the pandemic.

"They are offering both Mandarin class and also English class," she said.

"They are actually teaching kids to make a game for how to protect yourself against the virus. So it's interesting not only to learn coding but also to learn some of the basic knowledge of protecting yourself."

Weeks ago, before talk of self-isolation on P.E.I., Guo was helping people arriving from China to self-isolate, finding ways to get them basic necessities while they stayed at home.

She did this, she said, because it was the right thing to do. She said P.E.I. now has a chance that other parts of the world did not.

"We have seen the news in China and we know how serious it is," she said.

"We have always been saying, your being careful is better than being regretful."

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With files from Island Morning