As the pandemic gripped the state of New York in March, Sabrina Guo, 14, of Oyster Bay Cove, felt uneasy as she watched Gov. Andrew Cuomo announce that the front line workers in the state were running low on face masks and other PPE.
On March 23, Sabrina stepped up and founded Long Island Laboring Against Covid-19, or LILAC, to purchase PPE to hospitals, first responders, essential workers and communities throughout Long Island.
Through LILAC, Sabrina has donated more than 140,000 PPE items, including a recent donation of 10,000 masks to the Freeport School District on Aug. 7.
“I’m honestly touched by this amazing gesture,” said Kishore Kuncham, superintendent of schools. “Despite all the horrible things that have happened during this pandemic, we’re seeing these young people rise to the occasion for our communities.”
“It really is inspirational to see these teens giving to our community,” added Nassau County Legislator Debra Mulé.
Sabrina said she decided to make the latest donation to Freeport because she knew that communities of color were heavily impacted by Covid-19.
Freeport, a minority-majority community, was the third-hardest hit village in the county, with more than 1,700 cases reported as of Aug. 10, according to the county Department of Health.
With the help of Legislators Mulé and Kevan Abrahams, Sabrina and her fellow teens at LILAC connected with the school district to donate not only the masks, but also artwork that thanks and supports front line and essential workers in the Village of Freeport.
Kuncham said the masks would be distributed to students before the start of the fall school year through the district’s “Grab & Go” meal distributions throughout the summer.
Sabrina said LILAC’s next mission would be donating PPE to the Hempstead Farmer Market to black owned restaurants in Hempstead, as it has the most Covid-19 cases in the county, with more than 2.300 testing positive, according to the county DOH.
As of Aug. 12, LILAC has raised more than $81,000 for its mission, including $40,000 of Sabrina’s college fund, which she convinced her parents to donate to ensure LILAC’s future.
“You need to make a sacrifice to show that you’re dedicated to a cause, to show your conviction,” Guo said. “I can’t imagine the pain some people are going through because of the pandemic, so I need to do whatever I can to help.”
To donate to LILAC, visit its GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/LILACovid19, or visit their Instagram account at https://www.instagram.com/lilacovid_19/.