The O’Neal School has donated 2,000 surgical masks to First Health of the Carolinas. They were shipped to O’Neal as gifts from its partner school in Zhuzhou, Hunan, China – Nanfang High School. The Chinese high school gifted the masks due to the likely necessity that O’Neal will need them to reopen its campus. With the understanding that personal protective equipment, including surgical masks, are in critically limited supply for healthcare workers, it was most appropriate to offer up the masks to the local healthcare system.
In receiving the donation, First Health of the Carolinas CEO Mickey Foster responds, “On behalf of FirstHealth we truly thank you. It’s been very humbling to see all the community support.”
O’Neal and Nanfang High School formed a partnership five years ago with help from the Carolina China Council. 2nd Lt. Robert Hoyle Upchurch, a native of High Falls, NC and Flying Tiger in World War II, crashed his plane in the Hunan Province of China. Due to this connection, the late Senator Harris Blake paved the way for the Hunan Province and North Carolina to establish a sister state relationship. With continued cooperation from the Carolina China Council, sister city relationships later evolved. Every other year, Nanfang students and O’Neal students take turns with home stay exchanges for several days while also attending each other’s school. O’Neal’s first group of students traveled to Zhuzhou, Hunan, China in March of 2016.