Philly Proud: Students collecting protective gear for those who need it most

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- High school students making a big impact during this pandemic are making us Philly Proud.

Here in Philadelphia, young members of what's known as the Germination Project have been collecting protective gear for members of our community who need it most.

And they went to great lengths to make that happen.

The Germination Project is an initiative of The Pamela and Ajay Raju Foundation in which talented high school students are encouraged to make a difference.

"We want leaders in this community to emerge, who are young, and go out and solve problems in this community, not just talk about it but do it," said Vice Chair and Curator of Programming Craig Snyder.

The fellows were challenged to create solutions to alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, 100,000 masks are being donated to vulnerable groups in the city of Philadelphia.

"Some of these young people thinking globally went out and negotiated with a company in China for the provision of these masks," Snyder said.

"The masks are going to a variety of nonprofits in Philadelphia," said Germination project fellow Mary Cipperman.

"Philabundance is the area's largest hunger relief agency," said Loree D. Jones, CEO of Philadbundance. "So you think about the folks who need food the most, folks that are food insecure. So with this donation we are able to ensure that those people were able to get food in a safer way. "

Women Against Abuse, Esperanza, the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium and many other organizations are using the donation to continue their services.

"It'll be put to great use because everyone who is at the shelters is certainly wearing a mask," said Lindsay M. Warren, Vice President of Advancement for Women Against Abuse.

"We will be distributing these masks and have already started distributing those mask to people who come to get tested, to people who see walking around in SEPTA stations, to people who are planning to return to churches and mosques," said the Rev. Marshall Mitchell of the Salem Baptist Church and the Black Doctors COVID-19 Constortium.

"We are looking at distributing some of that PPE to the sites in our community that are setting up as cooling centers," said Jode Reynhout, VP of Strategic Initiatives for Esperanza

The fellows of The Germination Project are still hard at work.

"We have almost 100 kids working on various initiatives and trying to make our city better," Cipperman said.

The Germination Project partnered with 6abc to help disseminate tens of thousands of those masks to diverse non-profits and community centers across our region.

For more information, visit the Germination Project website.

Germination Project/ 6abc PPE/Mask Donation 2020 - Community Organizations
(4,000 per organization)

-Food Bank of Southern NJ
-Urban Affairs Coalition - UAC
-Black Doctor's COVID Consortium
-New Kensington Community Development Center
-Women Against Abuse
-PAL Police Athletic League
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