Cornell Alumna Steps Up to Support NYC

NYU Langone Brookyn ER Department posing with donated PPE
By: Roselle Bajet

When New York City started to experience a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, Annabelle Li (CFEM ’11) and her friends mobilized their connections and global resources to help our city. Since mid-March, they have sourced and delivered thousands of N95 and surgical masks, gloves, ISO gowns, and goggles to establishments across boroughs.

“When COVID first affected Wuhan, my family became very concerned. We saw how much suffering the disease brought to those infected and healthcare workers selflessly fighting for their patients. When it started in the U.S., I immediately thought about how this could become a great danger for the healthcare workers here. My friend who works as a nurse said that they were only assigned one N95 mask for 3 months. That’s when I made a decision to help with this cause and donate PPE to healthcare workers,” said Annabelle.

At first, Annabelle was able to connect with an extensive network through her husband’s contacts who works in cancer research. After a few donations, the news spread, and hospitals, as well as individual doctors and nurses, started to call. From mid-March, the campaign has raised $6,743, in addition to about $15,000 worth of PPE donations, all of which have gone to 16 different hospitals, nursing homes, and government entities. This list includes some hard-hit locations like: Queens Hospital Center, NYU Langone Brooklyn, Montefiore Medical Center Bronx, Long Island State Veterans Home, and many more.

While her hospital contacts are no longer reporting severe shortages in PPE, Annabelle with her family and friends have no intention to stop their efforts. Now they are pivoting towards those left in great need in the wake of high unemployment rates and business closures – delivering meals at food banks and supporting children’s educational needs. If you wish to get involved, please email Annabelle (

We are proud of the great teamwork and leadership shown by our alumni!

NYU Langone Brooklyn ER Department posing with donated PPE
This picture is taken in front of NYU Langone Brooklyn's ER Department, which has been short of PPE since the beginning of the pandemic. Due to lack of donations, the ER Department has been relying on the hospital headquarters to distribute supplies. The campaign has donated three times here with hundreds of N95 masks, surgical masks and gowns.
ER doctors at Metropolitan Hospital at Harlem
This is a picture taken from Metropolitan Hospital at Harlem. One of the ER doctors came out and took this picture upon receiving the PPE donations.
Frontline Doctor at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx
This is a front line doctor from Montefiore Medical Center Bronx. He reached out and expressed the PPE need for his department, where most of the doctors were enlisted to treat COVID patients. The campaign donated 100+ N95 masks and 50 gowns.


Cardiology Doctor at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center Posing with PPE
This is a cardiology doctor from Newark Beth Israel Medical Center who noted that she had to buy protective gears from Home Depot herself. The campaign donated 100+ N95 masks and gowns to her and her colleagues. 






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