Peninsula nail salon owners organize medical supply drive

A group of women in San Mateo found a creative way to help health careworkers who say they're short on protective gear.

The ladies include a stay-at-home mother of three, and two nail salon owners.

They said they met each other recently through their desire to help others.

In a matter of days, nearly 3,000 masks, 59,450  pairs of gloves and other items were bought by the salon owners and collected in the garage of a home to be given to health care workers. 

"They're helping us. I think in a time of need that it's important that we serve them," said Lori Jabagchourian, who organized the donation drive.

Linda Pham, owner of Soleil Luna Nail Spa said her 22-year-old son is serving in the U.S. Navy.

During this time of crisis, she's ready to answer the call to service.

"I just feel very sorry for the doctors and the nurses when they go out and try to save lives," she said. "They don't even have enough protective gear to protect themselves."

The salon owners said they spent thousands of dollars to buy the safety items from wholesalers.

"They were closed for business, but I was able to get a hold of them by their personal phone. They were nice to open up for me and sell these to me," said Vivian Nguyen.

She enlisted the help of former San Francisco Giants player Andres Torres who said, "A lot of people, they need help. We try to provide especially in the bad times. That's why we're here."

John Jurow, CEO of San Mateo County Health Foundation, said he was grateful for the donations.

He arrived in a truck to pick up the safety items to deliver them to San Mateo Medical Center, the county hospital.

"When I saw how much stuff there was, I was pretty shocked," said Jurow. "We were so excited about the amount of stuff were we’re getting."

By helping others, the women said they found purpose during the statewide shelter-in-place.

"What we've been able to accomplish with a small group of volunteers has been really incredible and inspiring," Jabagchourian said. "And we hope others will consider doing the same." 

Amber Lee is a reporter forKTVU.  Email Amber at and follow her on Twitter@AmberKTVU