Community Organizer, Houston Korean American Community
Ms. Susan Cho Jhin has tirelessly worked with the Houston Korean American community to strengthen its ties and position with the greater Houston Community during the COVID-19 crisis. Starting March 2020, Susan has mobilized the Houston Korean-American community to make cloth masks, organizing over 50 volunteers from various Korean churches and gaining support from the Korean pastors and community leaders. Since then, the Houston Korean American community has sewn and donated over 5,000 cloth masks to over 30 organizations, including healthcare and essential workers during the pandemic’s early chaotic period when masks were not available in the U.S. They also have made children’s masks for underserved communities such as the Mission of Yahweh and Harbor Christian Academy. To launch the project, Ms. Jhin has raised funds to cover mask-making costs while short in supply early on in March and April. She has creatively sourced fabric from donated men’s dress shirts from friends and dry cleaner businesses so that her mask-making volunteers can keep the production line humming. Through her connection at Texas Children’s Hospital, she has collaborated with The Children’s Fund, who were desperately in need of masks for underserved children in foster care and shelters, providing 1,500 masks for them.