Pearl River Mart Masks for Docs and Nurses

Hello from Pearl River Mart, the longtime NYC Asian emporium. We are a family-owned business with three stores in downtown Manhattan, jointly run by first-generation founders Mr. and Mrs. Chen, and second-generation daughter-in-law Joanne Kwong. We’ve been a fixture in NYC since 1971, importing goods from China and all over Asia for almost 50 years.

In response to the frightening shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) at area hospitals, we worked our network of contacts to source the N95 and KN95 medical-grade face masks everyone is looking for. N95s are still extremely difficult to reliably source, but KN95s (the Chinese equivalent) have recently been approved by the FDA and are more widely available, especially to those familiar with the process of importing from China. 

We donated an initial batch of 500 masks to Elmhurst Hospital -- one of the hardest hit hospitals in the city -- DIRECTLY to ICU and ER staff via a friend who is a doctor there. Because our three stores are closed and cash flow is tight, we started this GoFundMe to ask our customers and friends to help fund the purchase of more masks. They came through in a big way and contributed a spectacular $50,000 (!!!) in 6 days.

The global market for PPE has been wild and unregulated. Prices fluctuate greatly, and the market is flooded with counterfeit items. We feel lucky to have many vendors and contacts throughout Asia to help us sort through the mess and find quality goods from FDA-approved factories, as well as a strong network behind us in the Asian American and NYC small business communities to share information and resources. 

We are delighted to be joined by fellow NYC small business owners who have generously donated in creative ways and spread the word to their loyal customers. Make no mistake, these small businesses are all hurting but we view ourselves as anchors in the community and will do whatever we can to help rebuild our beloved city. Please look for your favorite local business below and make a donation in honor of their own resilience, as well as of course to celebrate and support the bravery of our healthcare heroes. 

Any donation would be greatly appreciated.  We will keep the supply going for as long as we can — directly to doctors, nurses, and staff at NYC-area hospitals and clinics. Thanks for considering!

Joanne Kwong
Mr. & Mrs. Chen
& all of us at Pearl River Mart

*****

To read more about Pearl River's 50-year history of, ahem, creatively sourcing goods for the community, with or without government approval, please check out this piece in the Canal Street News . Thank you Alexandria Misch for talking to us! 

*****

THANK YOU TO OUR SMALL BUSINESS FRIENDS AND THEIR LOYAL CUSTOMERS!

Calligaris NYC 

Fat Witch Bakery 

Manhattan Fruit Market 

BLACKBARN Shop 

Takumi Taco 

Tea and Milk 

Hanky Panky 

Covry 

Foremost Groups 

10 Thousand Foxes Tattoo 

Nom Wah 

Chelsea Market 

Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm 


*****

THANK YOU TO OUR VENMO DONORS BELOW WHO HAVE ADDED $3838 TO THE OVERALL TOTAL! 

Laura Lee
Anonymous
Liau Family
Emily Hayes
Ellen Hayes
Anonymous
Jess Lee
Heather Nesle
Mary Tang Rocha
Cynthia Koo
Kelley Lin
Frank Richards
Jane Hwang
Kwong-Shah Family
Tracey Wang
Hoong-San Chen and Elmer Arguilla
BLACKBARN Shop
Takumi Taco
Chung Seto

Donations ()

  • Anonymous 
    • $30 
    • 3 d
  • Julia Marrs 
    • $30 
    • 9 d
  • Brian Yang 
    • $50 
    • 11 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $200 
    • 14 d
  • Omega Chapter UCONN Pi Delta Psi 
    • $758 
    • 19 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Joanne Kwong 
Organizer
New York, NY
Joanne Kwong 
Beneficiary
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