News Category: Breaking News
Article by Kanchan, News Team Contributor
On August 18th, Rep. Eric Swalwell discussed the latest efforts to cut government funding for the U.S. Postal Service in front of a small gathering at the Dublin Post Office. Along with addressing their concerns, he also raised awareness about the suppression of mail-in votes during the 2020 election season.
“People are hurting in this pandemic,” Swalwell said. “Californians are going into another hot, hot summer – another fire season. The last thing we should have to deal with or worry is the reliability of one of America’s most trusted resources, the Postal Service.”
Among the sign-bearing locals were a handful of teenagers holding boxes of surgical masks and plastic face shields. As the crowd convened in front of the Post Office, they offered them protective gear. These Bay Area high schoolers were all part of Break the Outbreak (BTOB) — a youth nonprofit dedicated to providing communities across the United States with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
BTOB began as a small operation to protect essential workers of the food industry. A few teens from Dublin High created a website, now managed by rising senior and Executive Director of Technology Prahalad Chari, to consolidate local requests for supplies and resources amid the pandemic.
Within a few months, however, the operation transformed into a sprawling 501 (c)(3) organization with chapters in over 30 cities.
“It is our responsibility, as young people, to ensure that COVID-19 does not endanger more members of our community,” says Break the Outbreak founder and CEO Sky Yang.
The organization first gained traction among Dublin’s restaurants and farmers’ markets, but that wasn’t enough for Yang. He developed teams in San Ramon, Livermore, Beverly Hills and beyond, offering free PPE to nearly every city in the Bay Area.
“And just like that, Break the Outbreak spread like wildfire,” said BTOB Director of Media Outreach Kanchan Naik. “Teens everywhere want to make a difference, and will.”
After meeting with Swalwell, Break the Outbreak teens stood in solidarity with Dublin natives, cheering in support of the U.S. Postal Service. Swalwell commended the organization’s commitment to civic engagement amid the pandemic.
“Their group already has 37 chapters in 15 states from coast to coast,” Swalwell said. “[They’re] rallying young people to step up and save lives in our nation’s time of need.”
To donate to Break the Outbreak, click here!
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