COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Response

Operation USA has worked diligently to provide relief aid in as many ways and places as possible since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.


As of September 22, 2020, we have delivered hundreds of thousands of gloves, masks, face shields and gowns, as well as bottled water, cleaning supplies and hundreds of gallons hand sanitizer to medical and community partners in the greater Los Angeles area. We have also distributed cash grants to community-based partners in New Orleans, Los Angeles and on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. In July, we disbursed $100,000 in funds generously donated by Sony Music Group as grants to community-based organizations supporting vulnerable population groups including low income and food insecure families–particularly in hard hit Black and Latinx communities–in Austin, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New Orleans and New York. Donations from the public and corporate partners make our efforts possible. Thank you!


Operation USA is seeking major monetary donations as well as bulk, corporate in-kind donations of appropriate supplies to help combat the spread of COVID-19, protect frontline workers, bolster facilities and people treating those who are already impacted, and support community-based organizations who have been hard hit by the pandemic. Your partnership with and investment in Operation USA at this time is crucial to our ability to respond.

Download our COVID-19 response deck here.


Please visit our donate page now to support these efforts.


Read on to learn more about COVID-19 relief distributions and grants.


September 1, 2020–This week, in addition to delivering 10,000 protective masks to Northern California for fire-displaced families, we delivered 200,000 masks to our partners at the Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County. These masks will be passed along to clinics serving at-risk populations across the Los Angeles area. We’re so proud to be able to support these organizations which are hard at work on the front lines battling the ongoing pandemic.


August 20, 2020–Today, we delivered 20,000 masks to Mujeres de la Tierra for distribution to Los Angeles families and essential frontline workers.


We’re so grateful to our friends at Servicon Systems, for their support in making this and other local distributions possible, and to Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, for helping get the items to families and workers who need them most. The masks were distributed along with other items by Mujeres de la Tierra at a local grocery store in South LA. See photos here.


As the pandemic continues, OpUSA is committed to providing masks and other relief aid and support wherever possible in the months ahead. Your support makes this work possible. Thank you!



August 13, 2020–Today, with help from Servicon Systems, we handed off 5,500 masks to the Long Beach Fire Department. These masks will be shared among eleven different agencies in the city of Long Beach as they continue to work on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re so pleased to be able to deliver these masks (generously donated by partners in Vietnam) to our local essential workers!


We also delivered 5,000 masks to U.S. Vets of Long Beach, 5,000 masks to Meals on Wheels of Long Beach and 5,000 masks to Cambodian Health Care Professionals Association of America. We’re so proud to support these meaningful organizations.


We can’t do this work without you. Please consider a gift now at


August 7, 2020–Today, Operation USA–with transportation support from Servicon Systems and in partnership with Mayor Garcetti’s task force–delivered 112,000 masks to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. These masks will support ongoing pandemic response for some of our community’s most vulnerable residents. See photos here.


July 31, 2020–Today, Operation USA handed off 100,000 masks and 20 gallons of hand sanitizer to partners at St. John’s Well Child and Family Center here in LA. We’re so pleased to support such a worthy organization, which is testing 500-600 low income residents of South Los Angeles each day. These masks will help protect medical workers as well as patients and their families during the ongoing pandemic.


July 30, 2020–Today, Operation USA (with support from our partners at Servicon Systems) delivered 2,500 masks to LA Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas at St. Paul’s Church in South LA for distribution to those in need. The masks were handed out to community residents while a mobile testing unit from St. John’s Well Child and Family Center was also on site. We’re so pleased to be able to support this effort aimed at supporting some of our city’s most vulnerable residents. See a video here.



July 28,2020–This week, OpUSA delivered 10,000 masks to partners at the Amity Foundation here in Los Angeles for distribution to local community members. Amity Foundation is dedicated to the inclusion and habilitation of people marginalized by addiction, trauma, criminality, incarceration, poverty, racism, sexism, homelessness and violence; and, it strives to improve health, and promote environmental, social and economic justice. We are so pleased to support such a worthy organization!



July 27, 2020–Today OpUSA distributed an allotment of the protective masks donated to the U.S. by partners in Vietnam to partners here in Los Angeles. We are so pleased to have delivered 50,000 masks to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to support medical professionals, hospital workers, patients and their families as the pandemic continues. The major donation of surgical masks from VietJet air made this distribution possible.


With support from Servicon Systems, Inc., we also forward staged 50,000 masks which will soon be handed off to local officials working to bolster community-based organizations in their districts, and delivered 5,500 masks to the City of Long Beach for distribution to frontline workers including fire and police departments.


Thank you to all partners supporting our work!



July 20, 2020–Last week, more PPE generously donated by partners in Vietnam and transported by sea arrived at the OpUSA Warehouse. This material aid will be distributed in Southern California and in vulnerable communities across the United States.

This week, 250,000 masks donated by VietJet left the OpUSA warehouse for their end destination in New York, where they will be distributed to those in need by Mayor De Blasio’s task force. Many thanks to our friends at Airlink and United Airlines for getting the masks to New York!


July 15, 2020–This week, we sent out eight grants to partners supporting COVID-19 relief and recovery in hard hit cities across the United States. Made possibly the generosity of Sony Music Entertainment, these grants will allow community partners to better meet needs in their respective areas. Grant recipients include: Education Through Music (New York, NY), The Austin Community Foundation (Austin, TX), Casa Central (Chicago, IL), Communities in Schools Tennessee (Nashville, TN), Covenant House (New Orleans, LA), Focus: HOPE (Detroit, MI), World Harvest (Los Angeles, CA), and the Miami Diaper Bank (Miami, FL).


June 26, 2020–This month, Operation USA helped facilitate a major donation of 2.5 million masks and other PPE from Vietnamese companies to the United States. Forty years after OpUSA sent its first ever airlift to support Vietnamese “Boat People” refugees in Malaysia, and with OpUSA’s decades-long history of aiding development efforts in Vietnam, this meaningful donation–made possible by Vietnam’s success in fighting COVID-19 and the generosity of companies able to source or manufacture masks there–brings our relationship with Vietnam full circle.


This week, one million masks donated and transported by VietJet and partners arrived in Los Angeles. Most of the shipment–750,000 masks–will be distributed in the Greater Los Angeles area through Mayor Garcetti’s task force, while the other 250,000 masks will be forwarded to partners in New York. OpUSA expects 1.5 million more masks and additional PPE to arrive by sea in July. Those items will be delivered to vulnerable groups, including essential workers who have remained on the front lines for the duration of the pandemic.



May 26, 2020–This week, Operation USA delivered an additional supply of protective face masks to Meals on Wheels of Pasadena. The masks will help protect workers who continue to risk their health so that vulnerable seniors in our community maintain food security, especially as grocery stores and markets across the city are overwhelmed. Thank you to all partners and donors who have made this important support possible.



May 22, 2020–This week, Operation USA delivered two grants to community-based partners to aid COVID-19 recovery work.


In Los Angeles, we provided a $10,000 grant to the World Harvest Food Bank, a nonprofit providing nutritious food, basic staples and living essentials to those in need (nearly 40% of which are children, and 8% of which are elderly residents) across the greater Los Angeles area. The funds will be used to meet increased needs as many more families are facing food insecurity due to the pandemic. We are so proud to be able to support this wonderful and impactful organization here in our home city.

In South Dakota, we provided a $6,250 grant to the Oyate Teca Project on the Pine Ridge Reservation–a Native-led organization promoting the well-being of children and their families through education, health, culture and recreational programs and activities. The funds will be used to support the organization’s gardening program, which enables 38 families to grow, preserve and sell their own food, bolstering food security and providing economic opportunities. We’re so grateful to all donors who have enabled us to support this meaningful program!



May 8, 2020–This week, two more donations left the Operation USA warehouse for local partners. On Tuesday, we handed off a supply of sports uniforms and hand sanitizer to the El Salvador Foundation for events in Los Angeles on Thursday and Friday. More than 1,000+ families from our local community were able to stop by the “Community Grab & Go” events to pick up much-needed food, school supplies and some new sports uniforms (because fun and exercise are more important than ever for kids cooped up at home!).

Today, we also handed over a truckload of hand sanitizer and oral rehydration product (generously donated by our friends at Hydralyte) to representatives from the Port of LA, who will pass the items along to Mayor Garcetti’s task force. These items will be distributed to hospitals, clinics and other frontline community organizations here in Los Angeles.

We are so proud to continue to support local efforts in the battle against COVID-19. Your donations make this possible. THANK YOU!



April 24, 2020– This week, we received an update from Burnell Cotlon in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, to whom we distributed a small COVID-19 relief grant earlier this month. Mr. Cotlon used funds donated by Operation USA to purchase a new freezer–allowing him to better stock perishable items in his store. This grant also enabled the market to feed local community members several days in a row. We are so pleased to be able to support the efforts of Burnell’s Market!



April 22, 2020–Today, 8k gowns donated by Operation USA to the city of LA’s COVID-19 response efforts were handed off to hospital partners.


The protective gowns were distributed to personnel at two facilities: St. Francis Medical Center—an acute care, not-for-profit community hospital with a commitment to delivering compassionate patient care to the Los Angeles community—and Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, a 412-bed, acute care hospital in Pomona, CA. We are so proud to help protect the frontline heroes at these facilities who are working hard to combat the spread of COVID-19.


Thank you to all partners and donors who have invested in our ongoing pandemic response efforts. We are working diligently to identify opportunities to bolster health and safety on the front lines, help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect food security in hard-hit areas. Your donations make this work possible!



April 14, 2020–This week, Operation USA began distributing cash grants to community-based partners experiencing increased/new needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In New Orleans–where OpUSA aided recovery after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005–we delivered emergency funds to our long-time partner the Awesome Girls Mentoring Program, which supports at-risk young women. Also in New Orleans, we sent emergency funds to Burnell’s Market–one of the only grocery’s in the lower 9th ward offering fresh foods to residents–to help cover the cost of the food and supplies Burnell Cotlon has been providing to community members who have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thank you so much to all partners and donors who have made our COVID-19 response efforts possible. To donate to this cause now, visit



April 8, 2020–This week at our warehouse in the Port of LA, Operation USA received a generous donation of 4 pallets (600 gallons) of hand sanitizer from partner Solugen. The sanitizer–enough for 9,600 80z bottles–will soon be handed off to the Port/Mayor’s task force for distribution to hospitals and medical facilities in the greater Los Angeles area.


Thank you to partners and donors making our COVID-19 response efforts possible!



Visit us at to donate now and help those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.



April 3, 2020–On Wednesday, representatives from the Port of Los Angeles and LA Mayor Garcetti’s task force visited the Operation USA warehouse in Wilmington, CA to see what we had in stock that could be of use to those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Yesterday, we handed off a cache of materials to the Port to be passed along (via efforts being spearheaded by the mayor’s team) to local hospitals and medical facilities facing increased needs as patient counts soar. We’re so proud to be able to help our local community partners during this difficult time. Now, 50,000 pairs of latex surgical gloves, 10,000 isolation gowns, 12,000 face shields, 600 masks and 1,500 respirator masks with filters are on their way to those who need it most. Thank you to David Reich, who is coordinating Mayor Garcetti’s task force, Thomas Gazsi, Chief of Los Angeles Port Police, and Gene Seroka, LA’s COVID-19 supply and logistics Chief, for their support and partnership. Many thanks also to all those who have donated or provided in-kind materials to our COVID-19 response efforts. We can’t do this work without you! Finally, we’d like to recognize our warehouse coordinator, Tony Shannon, for his tireless work sorting these donations and getting them ready to leave our warehouse—he is the true MVP of our team at this time!


As we move forward, OpUSA will continue to exhaust any/all opportunities to source and procure PPE, hand sanitizer and much-needed cleaning supplies for delivery to frontline workers here in California and across our country. Though critical materials are scarce at this time, we are committed to working on this effort and hope to continue this work as materials and funding allow. Meanwhile, we’re also focused on getting the word out about ways you can help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in your own community, procuring and distributing other items like bottled water and hygiene items for vulnerable groups including youths and the homeless, and distributing grants to community-based partners working hard to serve those who have been hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. All donations at this time support those efforts. We are so grateful for your continued generosity. Please visit to donate now.


See photos from this week’s hand off on our Facebook page here.



March 23, 2020–Today, Operation USA provided Universal Clinic in Boyle Heights with a supply of PPE for frontline workers–including 5,000 pairs of latex gloves, 1,000 N-95 masks and 500 gowns. As many local community clinics are forced to close their doors to our city’s most vulnerable residents amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, this much-needed material aid will help Universal Clinic continue to serve the Boyle Heights community.


Also today, OpUSA coordinated a delivery of 500 pairs of latex gloves and 110 N-95 masks to Meals on Wheels of Pasadena. This cache of PPE will help protect workers who continue to risk their health so that vulnerable seniors in our community maintain food security, especially as grocery stores and markets across the city are overwhelmed.


OpUSA is also awaiting the delivery of a generous donation of hand sanitizer, which will also be forwarded to local partners to help combat the spread of COVID-19 here in California.


We are continuing to assess opportunities to provide additional aid to partners here in the Greater Los Angeles area. Thank you to all donors and partners who are making our COVID-19 response efforts possible. Please visit to support these efforts.


March 20, 2020–Today, Operation USA handed off a cache of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to partners via the Port of Los Angeles and the Mayor’s Office/LA Public Health. We are committed to helping combat the spread of COVID-19 here in our own community, and are proud to help deliver much-needed masks and gloves to those on the front lines of this pandemic. Thanks to the generosity of corporate donors, we were able to supply the Port of LA and its workers with 5,000 pairs of latex gloves, and have delivered and additional 20,000 pairs of gloves and 3,200 protective masks to the Long Beach Convention Center, a temporary supply center where LA county officials are staging materials to be rapidly deployed to area medical facilities in need.


Operation USA is also awaiting a generous donation of bottled water, which will be handed off to shelter sites across our community as area officials work diligently to stop the spread of COVID-19 among our city’s homeless population and most vulnerable residents.


All of Operation USA’s work to combat the spread of COVID-19 is made possible by our generous donors and partners. If you are connected to a corporation or business that can help provide much-needed supplies at this time please contact All donations to these efforts will be used to help our most vulnerable community clinics, hospitals and front-line workers. Thank you for your continued support.


Donate to this and all of OpUSA’s ongoing relief and recovery efforts here.



Click here to learn more from the CDC about how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and limit your own exposure.


Click here to learn why precautionary measures are the most important steps you can take.




A note from Operation USA CEO & President Richard Walden on COVID-19:


Dear Friends,


Recent news of the rapid global spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has caused widespread fear and panic across the United States. Many people have rushed to stock up on supplies, large-scale events are being cancelled, schools are being closed, and leaders continue to advise us to take all possible precautionary measures to slow the spread of this disease. Are you staying informed and getting prepared?


Though disruptive to our lives, we at Operation USA–with more than 40 years of experience in disaster response–know all too well how important precautionary measures truly are. The simple fact is, adjusting your personal habits and routine in response to the growing pandemic is the best thing you can do to help slow the spread of the disease and avoid contracting it yourself.


Even as our staff focuses on individual steps to minimize the impact COVID-19 has on our own workplace and homes, we are also focused on coordinating as large a response as we are able to in order to support communities here at home in the United States which are increasingly being impacted by this pandemic.


Though we often work to provide material aid and work closely with health care partners worldwide in response to health crises, the current global emergency has presented a massive challenge for organizations like ours. In some years, Operation USA receives major donations of life-saving supplies, like N-95 masks (useful in communities affected by wildfires), cleaning and sanitizing supplies (useful in post-flood and post-disaster environments), and disposable medical supplies (useful wherever there is increased need). Currently, widespread panic among otherwise healthy Americans has caused stores to run out of these much-needed materials, and we have seen a decline in bulk corporate donations of supplies. Our supply warehouse–25,000 sq ft of space in the Port of Los Angeles–is full of hospital equipment but woefully short of health and hygiene supplies like hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, face masks, disposable gloves and other essentials for maintaining a safe space for clinic patients, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems and humanitarian aid workers who serve the wider community.


In light of current circumstances, I’m asking you today to consider a donation of any amount to Operation USA. Your gift, especially if you are able to provide major funding, will allow us to combine procurement (when no donated supplies are available) with the logistics of delivering these much-needed supplies to end users.


The cancellation of sporting and cultural events, the closure or curtailing of educational institutions, and the widespread unavailability of cleaning supplies at major retailers is demanding our attention and concern. It is now more important than ever that we each take precautionary measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent our already-vulnerable American health care system from becoming overwhelmed. At the same time, we must work together to ensure that those who do contract the disease and the medical professionals caring for them have the supplies necessary to minimize loss of life and prevent further transmission.


Humanitarian aid agencies like OpUSA will continue to work hard despite the uncertainty. This is what we do. Your donations make this work possible.


Thank you for joining us.


Richard Walden
President & CEO


…and the entire OpUSA staff!