BY SIMONE KEALY
A group of Melburnians is donating personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals within Victoria and NSW in response to COVID-19 shortages.
MedFamily was founded on March 28 and has almost 400 members consisting of medical professionals, their friends and families.
Team leader of MedFamily Dr Dong Yang Wu said the group was founded because many members had family in the medical industry they wanted to protect.
“We have to protect them in order for them to be able to save lives,” Dr Wu said.
She added the response from donors and hospitals has been “absolutely touching”.
“People were so generous, it’s not uncommon that you see individuals donate $1000, $2000 and even more.”
Royal Melbourne Hospital clinical product adviser Pauline Whittle said in a statement the hospital was “very excited” to receive the donations from MedFamily.
“[MedFamily’s] very generous donation will ensure staff across sites have appropriate PPE to protect them in the fight against COVID-19,” Ms Whittle said.
MedFamily has also started a Paint Your Support initiative, which thanks medical professionals by attaching children’s artwork to PPE hospital delivery boxes.
MedFamily volunteer Lin Lin began the initiative when her son Lionel, 9, wanted to thank healthcare workers but could not volunteer for MedFamily due to social distancing restrictions.
“He really [appreciates] what the healthcare workers are doing,” Ms Lin said.
“He’s got this understanding because his father is an anaesthetist.”
Ms Lin said Paint Your Support has received “very positive feedback” from the community and collected 46 drawings within the first 24 hours.
Ms Lin said MedFamily’s work supports healthcare workers emotionally as well as providing hospitals with PPE.
“The hospitals were so thrilled to see the children’s drawings,” she said.
“[Nurses] said it actually warmed their hearts.”
Ms Lin added Paint Your Support helps children learn how to express gratitude towards people who help others.
“Parents feel it’s also a meaningful and rewarding experience for their children,” Ms Lin said.
“What the frontline healthcare workers are doing is appreciated by people from all ages.”