WASHINGTON – Yumi Hogan, who as Maryland’s first girl helped the state safe a half-million coronavirus checks from her native South Korea, is working behind the scenes to safe donations from the Asian American communities in Maryland to battle towards the virus.
Asian Americans in Maryland donated to the state authorities about 560,000 items of non-public protecting tools, together with masks, hand sanitizers, face shields and medical robes. Their donations had been a part of the “Maryland Unites” initiative launched in March by Governor Larry Hogan, to obtain donations and volunteers from the personal sector.
In an interview with VOA’s Korean service Thursday, Yumi Hogan mentioned, “I think [the donations] were the result of the special relationship I maintained with the Asian communities. Through the donations, the Asian communities proved they can play an important role.”
Capitalizing on networks
Among the donors is Chiling Tong, the president of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship. Tong labored with Eugenia Henry, the Baltimore Chapter president of the Global Federation of Chinese Business Women Association, to mobilize group members and donate 40,000 surgical masks and 10,000 face shields to Maryland.
Tong informed VOA in an interview that the donations had been geared toward displaying appreciation to Maryland’s nurses and medical doctors engaged on the entrance strains. She additionally mentioned her ties with Yumi Hogan performed a vital half in making the donation resolution.
“We are absolutely inspired by first lady Yumi Hogan. She cares about people all the time; her leadership has been fully focused on saving lives during this pandemic. She also informed us about what PPE the state of Maryland needs, how the state can accept and distribute them, which was very helpful for donors,” Tong mentioned.
South Korean heritage
On April 18, a chartered 777 Korean Air flight landed at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to ship 500,000 coronavirus checks, marking the primary time a Korean passenger aircraft landed on the airport.
Two days later, in a press convention exterior Maryland Government House, Governor Larry Hogan mentioned, he bought the check kits from South Korea as a result of he could not safe them from the Trump administration. Governor Hogan mentioned “We have been doing every thing in our energy to amass extra checks from the federal authorities. Unfortunately, now we have additionally needed to compete with each state in America in our makes an attempt to obtain checks from each home producer within the U.S. and from sources across the globe.”
Hogan additionally known as his spouse “a champion” saying the deal wouldn’t have come collectively if it weren’t for her, who made a private plea to South Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Lee Soo Hyuk in her native language. President Trump criticized Governor Hogan’s buy of check kits from South Korea, saying he “may’ve saved some huge cash” if he known as Vice President Mike Pence as an alternative.
But Yumi Hogan nonetheless remembers the day the check kits arrived with nice pleasure and feelings.
“When we brought coronavirus test kits from South Korea, I was deeply moved, because we brought the kits straight from South Korea [to BWI]. Just like my dream, a direct flight is possible. I was so happy,” Yumi Hogan recalled.
Maryland’s first girl additionally led a enterprise delegation to South Korea in 2017, and throughout the journey signed a sister-state settlement between Maryland and South Jeolla province.
She additionally introduced a Korean plant known as “Jjok,” also called Asian Indigo, to Baltimore to introduce Korea’s pure dye tradition.
Yumi Hogan is an artist, an summary painter drawing nature utilizing Sumi ink on Hanji paper, created from Korean timber.
Art is what related her with Larry Hogan, 20 years in the past, once they first met at an artwork present. They married in 2004.
“He is proud to be called ‘the son-in-law of the Korean people,’ ” Yumi Hogan mentioned of her husband. She mentioned he “loves Korean culture and loves spicy Korean food” and tells her to make use of extra gochugaru, or chili flakes.
As Maryland’s first girl
Yumi Hogan emphasised that she just isn’t a politician however a mom, and that’s how she defines her function as the primary girl of Maryland.
“Even with a great legal system and administrative system, there are still many people who need attention and care. Children, women, people with disabilities, and financial difficulties, especially single mothers. I want to comfort them and spend time with them. I want to embrace them with the heart of a mother,” she mentioned.
Yumi Hogan mentioned she is especially affected by kids with out dad and mom, as she, the youngest of eight kids, was raised in a giant household. She additionally pays particular consideration to pediatric sufferers, offering them artwork remedy via her nonprofit YUMI C.A.R.E.S.
Yumi Hogan was raised on a hen farm in Korea and moved to America within the late 1970s together with her first husband. She had three daughters earlier than divorcing and transferring to Maryland. In 2015, she grew to become the primary Asian American first girl in Maryland and the primary Korean American first girl in any state.