By Emily Drooby
On May 27, the DeSales Media Group Emergency Task Force was honored with a billboard in Times Square.
“We’ve been working straight through for the past two months, non-stop, so we are being thanked,” explained Vincent LeVien, Director of Government and External Affairs for DeSales Media Group, who has been running the Task Force.
Under the bright lights, fellow members watched as their name was projected high above the crossroads of the world. They were surrounded by the names of other groups who have also been fighting on the frontlines of the global pandemic.
There was another bright light in Times Square on Wednesday night; tens of thousands of masks, all on the way to churches in the Diocese of Brooklyn.
“We are in this together, we want to help people and we are grateful to be a volunteer in the crisis and to help people with need,” said Frank Yao. His group, the Life Preservation Initiative, donated the masks.
They have been working in tandem with the Emergency Task Force during the pandemic, and they were also behind the billboard idea.
They have already given the Diocese of Brooklyn 40,000 masks. Between Wednesday’s load at Times Square and a second load the Task Force picked up at the 14th Street Salvation Army, they have given 120,000 masks.
They also gave 120,000 to the Salvation Army. These masks are essential, because they allow churches in Brooklyn and Queens to open their doors.
“I think it will help in bringing people back to our churches and make them feel comfortable when they walk into the church,” said LeVien.
Everyone parishioner must wear one during phase one of the Brooklyn Diocese church reopening plan.
Throughout the pandemic, the Task Force has been working on the front lines. They have done everything from bring food to hospitals, to getting the body of beloved Brooklyn priest Jorge Ortiz-Garay back to Mexico.
Getting these masks to the parishes who so desperately need them is the last pandemic task they will tackle as of now.