Local Vietnamese business owners and volunteers donate free face masks to community

Community Over Crisis

TAYLORSVILLE (ABC4 News) – Owners of multiple local Vietnamese nail and beauty supply businesses are now giving out free homemade face masks to the public, after sewing and donating thousands to facilities, agencies, and organizations in need.

It’s been more than a month since Tammy Ngo, the owner of Galaxy Nails had to temporarily close up shop. Her salon is one of dozens of Vietnamese nail and beauty supply businesses in Salt Lake County ordered to halt operations to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Of course there’s going to impact [on business]. But I think this is a good way to stop the spread of the virus so it can soon be over,” Ngo told ABC4 News in Vietnamese.

But since that time, she and seven other business owners haven’t slowed down. They collaborated with dozens of volunteers to sew and donate more than 7,000 homemade face masks to healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, senior care centers, volunteer relief groups, and more.

The other businesses involved in the volunteer efforts include Jasmine Beauty Supply, Top Nails & Hair Beauty School, VNY Nails, Regal Nails, Anthony Vince’ Nail Spa, Da Vi Nails, and Sisi Nail Salon.

“Right now, I see that a lot of people need masks to protect themselves and those around them. Seeing that I and everyone here can do something like this, it makes me feel very happy,” said Ngo.

On Tuesday, their group decided to offer their extra supply to the public, offering two free masks per person at a community event.

“The reason why I came today is because I listened to Governor Herbert’s eloquent talk last week and he had recommended that we wear masks, not for ourselves, but to help protect and make others feel safe,” said Duy Beck who attended the event and received free masks.

Beck also brought his friend, Irina Bychkova and her newborn baby to the event.

“Irina feels more safe when she goes in public with a mask,” he said.

The project also caught the attention of Rep. Karen Kwan, who came to help with distribution to the public.

“It’s been a tough time for Asian Americans because we’re seeing a lot of anti-Asian hate and rhetoric. Not only in the nation, but right here in Utah. We’re seeing hate crimes as well as microaggressions to our communities,” said Rep. Kwan.

She added, “These masks here show how we are Americans and first and foremost, how much we love our community. We’re all one community, one Utah. I’m just so proud that we’re able to work together to get so many masks donated to people who need them.”

The group is holding another free mask giveaway event on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Vietnamese American Community of Utah’s office at 1769 West Carriage Square in Taylorsville. Organizers said anyone is welcome and the limit is two masks per person.

“I think that’s just really typical of the Vietnamese Community. I’ve had some friends that when other catastrophes happen, the Vietnamese Community has come together and really help support,” said Beck.

“I just want to thank all of our brothers and sisters, people who are here and those who are not, for joining hands and contribute by sewing. We hope these masks can help those in need to protect themselves and stop the spread of the virus so it can soon end. That’s my wish and the wish of everyone here,” said Ngo.

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