Activism, Coronavirus, Current Events, Entrepreneurship, New York, Podcast, Self-Empowerment, Taiwan, Taiwan Organizations

CoFounders Gary Reloj and Bonnie Chan Raise $30,000 for PPE Relief Initiative and What’s Next Ep 106

By Felicia Lin

A note from Talking Taiwan host Felicia Lin:

My guests on this episode of Talking Taiwan are Gary Reloj and Bonnie Chan, co-founders of the PPE Relief Initiative (PRI). I had Gary on as a guest previously in episode 79, only a couple of months into the COVID-19 pandemic. He talked about his own personal battle with COVID and the PPE Relief Initiative’s crowdfunding campaign. Since then, the PPE Relief Initiative has surpassed its goal of raising $30,000, and has also been selected by GoFundMe to be a featured campaign on their COVID page.

When asked about the mistakes they’ve made and lessons they learned, Gary responded that he’s not afraid of failure and embraces it as long as there’s something that can be learned from it.  Gary and Bonnie talked how they’ve tweaked things since phase one of the crowdfunding campaign and shared some of the work productivity tools that PRI uses. Bonnie offered some general advice for people interested in doing crowdfunding for a cause. The two also shared a lot of exciting updates.

Here’s a little preview of what we talked about in this podcast episode:

  • What’s happened with the PPE Relief Initiative (PRI) since we first interviewed Gary about it
  • Bonnie’s role in creating a strong brand identity for the PPE Relief Initiative
  • How the PPE Relief Initiative got selected by GoFundMe to be a featured campaign and what it means for the campaign
  • The PPE Relief Initiative’s next fundraising goal is $15,000 to support an additional 1,000 healthcare workers
  • How the PPE Relief Initiative has grown and recruited new volunteers
  • How the support that the PPE Relief Initiative is not only supplying healthcare workers with PPE but giving them emotional and moral support
  • Some of the biggest challenges they faced in trying to reach their initial fundraising goal of $30,000
  • The failures and lessons learned during phase one of the PPE Relief Initiative’s crowdfunding campaign
  • How some of the healthcare workers that PPE Relief Initiative has worked with who have had to resort to wearing garbage bags, bed covers, and men’s old clothing as PPE
  • How important it is to have the right team of people working together to achieve goals together
  • What they did when contributions to the GoFundMe Campaign plateaued and stalled
  • How they tell and capture the stories of healthcare workers through their “Stories from the Frontlines” videos
  • The note that went viral – written by KP Mendoza, a healthcare worker featured in one of PRI’s “Stories from the Frontlines” videos
  • The shift from first focusing more on individual donors, to phase two in which they are planning to focus more on partnerships with e.g. community organizations, businesses, and student groups
  • Why Gary embraces failure
  • How PPE Relief Initiative learned from the mistakes it made during its first phase and has improved its processes
  • The work productivity tools that PPE Relief Initiative uses
  • The importance of organization and setting up an infrastructure
  • The goals of the second phase of PPE Relief Initiative’s Go Fund Me campaign
  • The difference between GoFundMe and GoFundMe Charity
  • The Promise Society, fiscal sponsor of the PPE Relief Initiative
  • General advice for anyone interested in running a crowdfunding campaign
  • The importance of email campaigns and data to PRI’s fundraising campaign
  • PPE Relief Initiative’s plans to partner with a local politician to hold a virtual roundtable with healthcare workers giving testimony on their experiences
  • PRI’s plans to make an impact on policy regarding healthcare worker protection


Related Links:


PPE Relief Initiative’s (PRI) website:


PRI’s social media accounts:

PRI on Instagram:


PRI’s Facebook page:


PRI’s LinkedIn page:


PPE Relief Initiative’s Go Fund Me crowdfunding campaign:



















PPE Relief Initiative’s volunteer page:


Healthcare workers (in New York and New Jersey) who’d like to apply for PPE can STILL do so here:


Belinda and Mary (Mother & Daughter share their stories) with PRI:


The note from healthcare worker KP Mendoza that went viral:—do-not-call-me-a-hero-listen-to-an-icu-nurses-plea-for-fighting-the-coronavirus.html


PPE Relief Initiative’s YouTube channel:


Recommended websites to recruit volunteers from:




Volunteer Match:



Productivity tools that PPE Relief Initiative uses:






Google Drive:



The Promise Society:


About the Host

Felicia Lin is the Host and Producer of Talking Taiwan, a podcast which seeks to introduce you to interesting stories connected to Taiwan and the diverse individuals who make up Taiwan’s global community.

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