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Clippers Season Ticket Holder Donates Over 30,000 Pieces of PPE for COVID-19 Relief

Ricky Chu, a 29-year Clippers season ticket holder, has donated personal protective equipment to over 50 hospitals and private clinics.

Ricky Chu is a 29-year Clippers season ticket holder that retooled his own family business to donate over 30,000 pieces of personal protective equipment, for over 50 medical facilities.

Chu is the owner of Chu's Packaging Supplies, a family-owned business based out of Santa Fe Springs, CA. It was started by his parents over 35 years ago. They're an importer and distributor that specializes in any and all shipping products. These range from your standard boxes, stretch film, bubble wrap, to fully customized packaging and custom printed tape. 

One of their divisions is disposable safety wear, which is why they have so much PPE in stock, and are able to donate. Most of that product line is industrial-grade instead of medical-grade, but in times like this, any type of protection is a bonus.

During this pandemic, Chu has gone above and beyond in providing relief for health care workers. Some of the places his company has donated to are big hospitals, while others are private doctors or clinics. The full spectrum includes private nursing homes, retirement homes, private ambulance services, breast cancer screening centers, and special needs care. Even the Arcadia Police Department reached out to Chu for some disposable coveralls for their officers. While maintaining the privacy of the donors, Chu's Packaging Supplies has easily donated to over 50 medical facilities.

What can you tell us about what you're doing?

Chu: "Over the past month, we’ve been donating disposable safety wear to hospitals, clinics, private nursing homes, and all the frontline workers that are testing and treating for COVID19. With the shortage of disposable protective wear nationwide, we felt that the best thing to do with reach out to everyone to see what we could give to them. 

We did something similar in February when the hospitals in China were running out of PPE. We found a logistics team that could pick up, deliver, and distribute our donations to hospitals all over the country. The more we do for each other, the stronger we will all come out in the end."

What made you want to do this?

Chu: "My family discussed it, and unanimously agreed that it was the right thing to do. There are so many doctors, nurses, and frontline workers putting their lives on the line to make the world safe for the rest of us. Making sure that they were properly protected was the least thing that we could do. 

Previously, a lot have called us before asking to buy our products. They told us that the hospitals were short on PPE, and not distributing them to certain departments so they were asked to source some on their own. That’s crazy to us. 

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In a time like this, we could easily sell these items off and turn a big profit but then we wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing that we were taking advantage of a bad situation. We didn’t just want to talk about helping people, we wanted to be about it."

How much have you donated?

Chu: "Combined with coverall jumpsuits, lab coats, bouffant caps, sleeve protectors, and shoe covers, we’ve donated in the upwards of 30,000 pieces combined. Maybe even more than that, but we haven’t had time to count everything. We still have a lot more for people who need them."

What are some of the best experiences you've had doing this?

Chu: "Some have cried in joy on the spot because they were going to work every day without any protective gear. They worry about their own safety and the safety of their family members when they go home. Others have emailed us pictures of them in our PPE with big “Thank You” signs. Those mean the world to us. 

How long have you been a Clipper fan for?

Chu: "Close to 30 years now. We’ve been Clippers season ticket holders since 1991, so we’ve been through all of the ups and downs. Unfortunately, they were mostly downs in a lot of those years. But the future looks bright for our team. Once the season starts again, that is. So ready for a Clippers to bring a championship home to Clipper Nation." 

In your 30 years as a fan, what was your favorite moment?

Chu: "The playoff run in the 2006 season with Sam Cassell, Elton Brand, and Corey Maggette. We were in such a long playoff drought that it was so amazing to go to a playoff game again. The energy inside Staples Center was electric, and that’s when Clipper Nation really came together to make some noise."

Any shout outs you would like to give? 

Chu: "My wife, Jingru, who is at home pregnant with our soon to be first child. My parents and sister, Paul, Julie, and Jean Chu because these donations could only happen because we all believe in helping others. The Chu’s Packaging Supplies team for sticking together strong during these tough times. Tony Cabrera from ABC 7 for helping us get our story out. My Bui Yah Hoops teammates. All the diehard fans in Clipper Nation." 

No one in the world really knows what to do in a catastrophic situation like the one we're in right now. The one thing that's certain, is that people need to come together. Ricky Chu and his family are proving what the best of us can do, in a dark time. Times are hard, but day by day, the Chu family is making life easier for those in need. Chu not only exemplifies a sense of pride for Clipper fans, but humanity as a whole.