BY TANGERINE CLARKE
Guyanese-American, Tony Singh, is doing his part to help in the COVID-19 fight by sewing non-surgical gowns at his Midtown Manhattan, Four Seasons Fashion Manufacturing plant to be donated to hospitals across New York.
With more than 25 years of experience manufacturing garments for top fashion designers, Donna Karran, and The Row, Singh, who recently completed outfits for members of the 2020 U.S. Olympic team, (Olympics cancelled), was approached by Ralph Lauren, another client, to sew 5,000 gowns and 10,000 face masks.
Singh brings a wealth of experience to this opportunity after being employed as a factory worker, his first job when he migrated to the United States 30 years ago, later acquiring Four Seasons Manufacturing.
Today, the entrepreneur is once again making history as the first Guyanese to be thrust into such a prominent role, helping thousands affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
So far, staff that maintains social distancing stitch and assemble from a pattern provided by Ralph Lauren, while others, who label and pack the items, finished 1500 gowns.
The businessman, who said he will not make much of a profit, but just enough to keep the factory afloat and staff employed, has a dedicated team, but sympathizes with others, who were afraid to come to work during the lockdown.
However, he said he was happy to be back at work after closing his doors for four weeks, adding, that he was also honored to play his part in giving back, and helping frontline workers in the fight against COVID-19.
According to Singh, his hands are full, since he works four days at the factory, and another two days organizing thousands of pounds of food from the New York Food Bank, and handing out hampers from Calvary’s Mission Food pantry, he started more than 10 years ago to feed the needy in the community.
With the help of his daughter, Nadia, son-in-law, Kevin Sookdeo, Roger Gary, who travels from Brooklyn, and other volunteers, hampers are packed and handed out to hundreds who line up from 5 am outside the Richmond Hill Queens, pantry.
However, due to the pandemic, the numbers have increased, forcing volunteers to issue tickets, so that social distancing is adhered to, as everyone is served a nutritious meal.
He follows strict guidelines, ensuring volunteers, as well as persons on line wear masks and gloves. Hampers are then placed on a table to be picked up.
Last Saturday, 1200 families were assisted during a staggered 10-minute time frame, starting at 7 am, with the first 30 persons being served.
The charitable Singh, said he felt great that he could give back, and despite some volunteers being fearful at this perilous time, he was confident that God wanted him to do his (God’s) work, adding that he will be protected by the holy one.
“My family is concerned for my health because I am diabetic, but I feel strong, mentally and physically for my age, and I will continue to do what I enjoy.”
“We are united for the greater good, and when you can make people feel contented you feel contented too, especially when they say thank you,” said Singh, adding that the kindness of a stroke victim assured him that his handout was appreciated.
After dropping off a hamper to the stroke victim, she insisted that he protected himself, and offered disinfecting wipes and paper towels to keep in his car.
“People are appreciative of what you do. I am doing this because I love helping others,” he assured.
The food pantry, located at 102-16 89th Ave., Richmond Hill, NY 11418, is open to the public. To learn more, visit calvarysmission.org
This story first appeared on caribbeanlifenews.com.