Tzu Chi donation to OakBend

Courtesy photo

Members of The Rotary Club of Wharton were on hand as they helped OakBend Medical Center receive personal protective equipment from the Tzu Chi Foundation on Thursday, May 21. From left are Wharton Rotarians James L. Perez, Bill Hamlyn, Traci Knight, and Barbie Fortenberry, and Tzu Chi representative Julienne Chi. Rotarians said Fortenberry was instrumental in connecting the Tzu Chi Foundation to OakBend. Hamlyn and Knight are with OakBend.

Tzu Chi volunteers traveled to Wharton last month to deliver an abundant amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) for use during the coronavirus pandemic.

The PPE was delivered to OakBend Medical Center in Wharton on Thursday, May 21. This is where several members of the Wharton community met with Tzu Chi representatives, including Julienne Chi.

According to Tzu Chi, there were 6,000 procedural masks, 200 KN95 masks, 200 goggles, and 60 coveralls delivered in boxes to OakBend Medical Center. 

There were also another 400 masks for Just Do It Now (JDIN) staff, which was represented by administrator Barbie Fortenberry.

She was credited for making the delivery possible, since JDIN and Tzu Chi have worked together in the past few years, going back to the calamity that was brought upon by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

Tzu Chi said the following in a statement about the PPE delivery.

“Wharton, Texas, is a place that’s held near and dear to the hearts of our volunteers as they provided their hands in aid after Hurricane Harvey, and it’s also one of our Hurricane Harvey long-term recovery project locations. Barbie Fortenberry, the current office manager of Just Do It Now, became a Tzu Chi volunteer last year, and she has been instrumental in helping us continue our monthly assistance provided to Wharton residents.” 

With PPE to spare and provide for first responders, Tzu Chi officials said Fortenberry was asked if she knew any hospitals that were in need of marks and brought up OakBend.

“We readily sprang to give our support,” Tzu Chi said in the statement.

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