It was supposed to a milestone anniversary for Munish “Mike” Ghai and his wife of 25 years.
But rather than throwing the party for family and friends that he had been saving for, Ghai, a local realtor, took the money and bought up all of the surgical masks, gloves, and sanitizers that he could.
He’s giving them all away on Thursday at 4 p.m. at the new Starbucks location on Golden Valley Parkway in Lathrop.
“This is a great country that has given us so much,” said Ghai. “Now it’s time to back to our neighbors and our community.
“We love to help each other – we were born in India, where we had Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi teach us always to help the community and to help people. That’s why I’m doing this – to help my community.”
So far Ghai has spent almost $10,000 to purchase the supplies from India and has received his first shipment with almost 2,000 surgical masks that he plans to distribute on Thursday. Additional shipments are expected in the coming weeks, and Ghai plans on distributing those to area hospitals that are running low on crucial supplies.
“I want to thank Munish and his family for this effort – it says a lot about Lathrop that people are willing to do everything they can to help their fellow citizens,” Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal said. “It shows that we care about out each other and we are working together.
“As a national and as a community, we have dealt with situations like this before and I am very confident that we will get through this by working together.”
Protective gear shortages have begun to impact Northern California hospitals as the number of cases of COVID-19 has increased, and donations like the one that Ghai is planning on making when his shipment arrives are pivotal in protecting healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic.
There are now 60 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, in San Joaquin County, and two people have been killed the virus including a Manteca resident. Both the State of California and the City of Manteca have issued recommendations for all residents to shelter-in-place unless they are performing essential tasks or traveling to and from essential jobs.
The community giveaway will take place on Thursday, March 26, at Starbucks, located at 16858 Golden Valley Parkway in Lathrop. The event is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. and continue until all of the supplies are given away.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 209.249.3544.