2022年2月12日，阳光明媚的周六下午一点，桥水市长Matthew Moench 在欢快的迎春中国传统音乐声中和舞龙舞狮的背景下，宣布虎年新年庆祝活动开幕。他诙谐的提到“桥水市是最适宜居住的城市，如果你还没有搬来，请尽快成为桥水居民啊”。桥水被Money 杂志在2020年度50全美佳适居城市中被评为31名（另一个新州入选城市是St. Laurel no.16)，在这个拥有5万5千居民的交通便利（距曼哈顿40英里）的城市中居住着约三千华裔居民。
新泽西州参议员Erik Peterson, 桥水的市议员Michael Kirsh和Timothy Ring, ridge water/Raritan 学区的BOE President Steve Singer, 华夏桥水学校的董事长Eugene Liu, 校长李燕君，副校长吴愉，梅山中文学校校长Tony Fu出席了整个活动。闻讯赶来的Somerset County的官员们，郡主管 Steve Peter, 郡议员Meloni Marano， 郡警长Darrin Russo, 郡副警长 Tim Pin, 郡警署负责反种族仇恨的主管警官Karissa Hahn 等都出席活动并向BCAA表示祝贺和支持。
Bridgewater Mayor Matthew C. Moench
The date was October 17th, 2020. It was a Saturday, and most people were probably at home lazing about, while others were out playing elsewhere. But if someone took a moment to go down to the Bridgewater township municipal complex, they might have noticed an odd group of people. Those people were all wearing masks, gloves, and each held a trash bag or a stick to pick trash up with. They were out and about cleaning up the trash scattering around. It is thanks to any volunteers like these that everyone can enjoy a clean and beautiful community.
The community cleaning event described above was organized by the Bridgewater Chinese American Association (BCAA), whose mission is to unify the Chinese Americans and get involved in and contribute to local communities. During the events, all the volunteers practiced social distancing and took precautions (e.g. wearing masks and gloves) to ensure safety. BCAA thanks all volunteers, including 8 children: Zachary Hsieh, Jake Luo, Issac Tian, Andrew Wang, Ethan Wang, Victoria Wang, Andrew Zhang, and Bryan Zou, and 10 parents: Judy Cheng, Jean Lee, Erin Hsieh, Tao Luo, Carol Shi, Michael Tan, Henry Wang, Tianjiao Wang, Chris Zhang, and Ling Zheng. BCAA thanks Jean Li for making home-made candies and Carol Shi for bringing cookies as gifts for kids participating in this event. BCAA would also like to thank the Township Human Services for the support and for providing cleaning tools.
By Sophie Cheng
Because of this unfortunate global pandemic, lots of time has been on my hands. With this time, I’ve been able to work on calligraphy, something that I’ve always shown interest in but had little time for. My teachers and friends always compliment my nice handwriting and calligraphy and different typefaces have come easy to me.
When I learned that Robert Wood Johnson Hospital is looking to fill the halls with cards and messages of hope and thanks, I decided to spend time to draw and write thank you cards to the healthcare workers. When my brother and I decided to donate masks to Green Knoll Rescue Squad and his school’s Health & Wellness Center, I also created handwritten cards using different style of fonts. I would like to show my appreciation to these frontline workers risking their owns lives to save COVID-19 patients.
By Gloria Lu
To say Covid-19 has profoundly disoriented our lives is probably an understatement. Three weeks of social distancing for most families in Bridgewater has tested our resiliency,unveiled the power of community, and awakened our creativity to better cope with the situation.
While there is no shortage of politicians and journalists bickering at each other, endless live conferences, and statistical models projecting the pandemic, there is a shortage of masks.These masks are part of the essential Personal Protective Equipment for healthcare professionals, grocery clerks, deliverymen, EMT crews, etc. in keeping the majority of us afloat during the crisis.
One of the task forces created by the Bridgewater Chinese American Association (BCAA) in February was “Supply Chain”. Led by Chris Zhang, Jean Lee and another resident, the goal has been to identify reliable mask manufacturers in China, purchase, ship, and distribute the masks throughout New Jersey. This has been made possible by generous donations from hundreds of local residents.
• Did you know that the team had to study different international standards to identify the appropriate models of masks that were acceptable by the US Custom?
• Did you know that both the US and China government regulations had changed rapidly (if not daily) on import and export requirements and restrictions?
• Did you know that most manufacturers require 100% payment up front recently?
• Did you know that the manufacturing and shipping leadtimes were getting longer, such as 10 weeks?
The team combed through operational details with hours of phone calls on top of their work and family responsibilities. This led to the purchasing and acquisition of 5,000 masks from China as of April 3, 2020. As a side note, another order of 5,000 KN95 masks could not be shipped to NJ last minute due to CDC’s change in regulation. The team acted swiftly, cancelled theorder, and used the funds to purchase 700 protective gowns, 200 pairs of boots and 120 protective hoods instead.
Realizing that supply shortage of PPE was becoming imminent, BCAA established a new task force last week with 30+ volunteers to make masks at home. The team lead, Ella Liu (previously a Certified Medical Assistant), has crafty hands. To alleviate shortage, Ella has been working tirelessly with volunteers to collect materials, provide instructions, collectmasks, and donate them to St. Peter’s Hospital (New Brunswick, NJ) and others based on their requirement. Who knew mask-making would become a “family activity” with moms and daughters digging fabrics and elastic bands from their linen closets, studying You-Tube videos, brushing up their sewing skills, dads ordering fabrics online and picking up donations from the neighborhoods, and handsome teenage boys posing as models with masks? To cater to a diverse population, some masks are tailored to youth with cartoon characters. Some masks have the bright stars, red and white stripes of our nation, and some are “seasonal” with brightly colored spring flowers. In honor of moms who didn’t have the luxury to enjoy the much-needed beautiful weather today while making 100+ masks, perhaps we could declare April 4 as “National Day of Masks”!
Facing adversity may obscure hopes for people, but we also know that the sun is above the clouds…