As Shanghai detected more than 20,000 daily COVID-19 cases, church leaders and believers put forward themselves as volunteers for combating the epidemic with donations in cash and kind.
Besides being in charge of the epidemic prevention work of churches in the district, Chen Zhimin, director of the Jinshan District CC&TSPM, assisted in the COVID-19 prevention and control efforts in spite of his elderly age and infirmity, according to Jinshan United Front Work Department. Deputy director Zhang Jinhua signed up for volunteer services for the first time, working on the front line for many days in a row. Responding to the call of the district CC&TSPM, church members dedicated themselves to the volunteer services, such as collecting COVID-19 swabs for the elderly at their homes, joining in the emergency support service in Puxi District, guarding the buildings where close contacts lived, maintaining order, helping with COVID-19 testing and registration by scanning codes.
According to incomplete statistics, more than 60 clergy staff and Christians from churches in this district participated in anti-epidemic services in villages, towns, streets, and national highway crossings.
On March 26-27, the district CC&TSPM donated 12,000 yuan worth of medical protective masks, milk, and eight-treasure porridge to police officers, quarantine staff, and volunteers in Jinshanwei Town and a checkpoint on the 320 National Highway in Fengjing Town. Volunteers from Fengjing Tianming Church sent vegetables and food to the elderly. A believer from Lin’en Church in Shihua Street led the company’s employees to produce face masks materials and raw materials for protective clothing. Two believers donated a total of 6,000 yuan and one of them carried out online legal advice & consulting services for residents.
Zhao Yumei, a volunteer from Song'en Church in Zhujiajiao Town, provided more than 2,500kg of vegetables. A female believer of Sheng’en Church in Shangta Town mobilized her hotel staff to make free lunch boxes for front-line staff in this area, said Qingpu District CC&TSPM.
Since March 11, all churches in Chongming District have implemented the measure of a "double suspension", which refers to suspending the opening of places of worship and group religious activities.
Apart from providing help for the nearby nucleic acid testing points and ensuring the safety of churches during the closed management period, leaders of the district CC&TSPM encouraged the local pastoral workers and believers to participate in charitable donations, conducting visits to the front-line staff in the district, the Chongming District CC&TSPM reported.
- Translated by Abigail Wu