Local teen raises money to donate masks for frontline workers

SPOKANE, Wash. – Like so many of us, 15-year-old Jeslyn Cai has gone through a wide range of emotions during this pandemic.

“I felt really helpless with what was happening in the world,” Cai said.

It wasn’t until a recent event, that things started to really hit close to home.

“My piano teacher’s husband is in the Spokane Veterans Home right now,” said Cai.

It’s the same nursing home where 36 veterans and 14 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

“That really hit me hard because I’ve been close to my piano teacher for basically my whole life,” she said.

That’s when she decided to start her non-profit, Team Gleam, as a way to raise money and buy masks for frontline workers.

She started small, asking friends to donate a portion of their allowances to the cause.

“It started with 10, 20, 30 dollars. Then people started donating 40, 50, and then 100 dollars,” Cai said.

So far, Jeslyn has raised more than $1,7oo. She’s donated 600 masks to the Spokane Veterans Home and another 500 masks to Hospice of Spokane.

“It was truly surreal to see how much support I’ve gotten. I’m truly thankful for all of the workers out there,” she said.

While these may be trying times for all of us, she hopes these donations can help make life a little less stressful.