CHELMSFORD, Mass., March 25, 2020 – FRX Polymers Inc., the global leader in polymeric halogen-free flame retardant (FR) solutions, has joined forces with the Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL) in Lexington, Mass. to help the local community in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chinese American Association of Lexington (CAAL), established in 1983, has been dedicated to enriching and empowering Chinese Americans in Lexington through civic participation, school engagement, heritage sharing, and community service over the last four decades.
To protect the most vulnerable groups, CAAL and FRX reached out to Chinese suppliers of personal protection equipment (PPE) and acquired disposable masks through generous donations from Lexington residents and support from FRX Polymers. The purchased masks were donated to nursing homes and frontline medical and health organizations.
CAAL is currently assembling a supplier list for local hospitals and state government review to both bridge the communications gap in sourcing and shortening the procurement time.
By combining the medical expertise and in-depth understanding of the community which resides within CAAL, along with FRX Polymers’ connections and knowledge of the Chinese textile supply chain, the team has been able to quickly screen and validate the list of Chinese PPE suppliers and match their product offerings to the requirements of smaller medical clinics and hospitals. During the week of March 23, CAAL and FRX Polymers will share this information with local hospitals and Massachusetts state government officials.
Throughout this crisis, CAAL and FRX Polymers have become aware of some racist attitudes aimed at the Chinese American community. Both organizations call on media outlets to call out those who are fanning hatred with expressions like “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus,” when referring to the novel coronavirus. The continued use of such terms only serves to stoke xenophobia and racism, stigmatize Asian Americans, and puts their lives in danger, the groups say.
“We have had a front seat to the progression of Covid-19 since early January and have been looking for ways to lend a hand, and we are so fortunate to have connected with the incredibly caring and talented folks at CAAL,” said Marc Lebel, FRX CEO. “At FRX, we also have outstanding Chinese-Americans working for us and we have been disheartened that the haters are using Covid-19 to spread hate against Chinese/American communities within the U.S.” Lebel added: “What we can do to fight against this is to call it out when we are confronted with it, whether on social media or in our daily interactions. When we don’t call it out, we are complicit. Let us not be complicit.”
Lebel added: “I am very proud that our team has devoted their evenings to this great initiative. It is a testament to our firm belief that we are all one people pulling for each other, regardless of color, culture, or whatever. At times like these we need to step forward and be the helpers.”
Boston University Professor Hua Wang, who serves as CAAL President, said that by drawing on extra medical grade PPE production capabilities available in China, WeStar Chinese American Alliance and CAAL have partnered to purchase 93,800 masks from reliable sources there. The masks will be donated to hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other frontline medical and health organizations. They will also be used to help residents especially seniors and those who are vulnerable to the Covid-19 virus. Earlier, CAAL donated N95 masks to the Lexington Fire Department and Public Health Office, along with N95 and surgical masks to Lahey Hospital & Medical Center in Burlington, Emerson Hospital, Mount Auburn Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Lahey Bay State Medical Center in Springfield, and senior villages in Lexington and a senior center in Billerica. Many of the masks were also donated by residents.
“We are compiling a sourcing list for hospitals and the governor’s office so they will have quick access to reliable sources in China,” said Wang. “We are all in this together; together we can beat it.”