By: Cora Jackson-Fossett Staff Writer | April 23, 2020
Uniting to help others is one way to describe the massive donation of personal protective equipment (PPE) and masks to two local medical facilities.
Freddie Figgers, an entrepreneur based on Florida, reached out to Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer of Faithful Central Bible Church and the result was Centinela and Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospitals receiving 750,000 masks and 250,000 PPE. Inglewood City Hall was also a recipient of some of the supplies.
The initial shipment arrived at MLK and Centinela Hospital on April 17, and Ulmer presented the items to Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Dr. Elaine Batchlor, MLK chief executive officer.
Inglewood Mayor James Butts, right, accepts PPE donations from Bishop Ulmer, left, who presented the items donated by entrepreneur Freddie Figgers. (Courtesy photo)
“This donation is a result of the bigheartedness of Mr. Figgers, an African American businessman and philanthropist, who wanted to make sure his gifts would reach the inner cities of our country, and reach people in Los Angeles. It is an example of the connection between our government officials and the grassroots part of our community, and we just wanted to be a part of it,” explained Ulmer.
“The essence of this donation is an example of partnerships and relationships. Our communities are so knit together … the government, the faith community, the public and the medical community. Martin Luther King Hospital is on the front line fighting this pandemic, and Faithful Central Bible Church, as a part of this community, wanted to let them know we are supporting them and we are with them,” added Ulmer.
Bishop Ulmer and MLK Community Hospital staff surround the PPE and masks donation from Freddie Figgers of Figgers Communications. (Courtesy photo)
Describing MLK as L.A. County’s “premiere campus,” Ridley-Thomas insisted that alliances of this nature are sorely needed to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The spirit of volunteerism, the spirit of community engagement, the spirit of generosity is being displayed by philanthropy, the faith community, all of this means a lot,” noted Ridley-Thomas. “We cannot win unless we have this kind of partnership. We will not be defeated by COVID-19. We are very grateful today.”