Activists, candidates distribute N95 masks to first responders across metro Atlanta

Community leaders are finding ways to deliver masks in bulk to first responders all across metro Atlanta.

SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — Community leaders are finding ways to deliver masks in bulk to first responders all across metro Atlanta.

A civil rights attorney who got his hands on 1,500 masks dropped a portion off to police, fire and EMS personnel Friday and Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr found out the delivery of thousands of masks in DeKalb County came from local fundraising and a shipment directly from China.

“Last month, March, we heard our frontline doctors and nurses that don’t have enough PPE so we were very sad," said Lucy Han, founder of the Atlanta Chinese Hiking and Beyond Club.

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With the support of the club, she's helped get a shipment of thousands of masks to first responders in metro Atlanta.

“Within three days we received almost $8,000 and we bought from China 7,000 N95 masks,” Han said.

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“We think it’s exciting to make sure the first responders are equipped first,” community activist Amos King said.

They provided the supply to activists and candidates running for office who used a disrupted campaign cycle to start a new mission—distributing coronavirus supplies to major hospitals and law enforcement agencies across DeKalb County.

“To make sure all of the municipalities in DeKalb County is taken care of,” said Harold Dennis, who is running for DeKalb County Sheriff.

“More than ever we needed to come together even though physically we couldn’t,” state House candidate Garry Guan said. It’s such an honor to do it.

On Friday, civil rights attorney Chris Stewart delivered N95 masks to first responders in the city of South Fulton.

“I used to work for the EPA, and I’ve been in situations where our team used to investigate toxic torts, and we’d have to go into a city or town that was contaminated, and I was scared,” Stewart said.

He told Carr that he found someone locally with a supply and bought them, sending hundreds of masks to Grady Memorial Hospital, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, Phoebe Putney Memorial and other private practices.

“Police officers can’t stop policing. Ambulance workers can’t stop coming when you call them. The doctors and nurses are literally the only things that separate us for life and death, so you know, they need help,” Stewart said.

Stewart told Carr that he is now organizing a program to make sure hospital workers are fed as they take on more shifts.