Good news has been somewhat scarce in 2020, but Zachary Ong of Scarsdale, N.Y., is on a mission.
The 15-year-old decided to start a nonprofit - We’Ar Together – dedicated to making an impact by providing sterile PPE kits to the junior golf community and others in need, and sharing the message that together, anything is possible.
During quarantine, my family and I were reading a lot of heart-touching stories about the pandemic and how it affected so many people. It really impacted my emotions reading how so many people couldn’t access what they needed to stay safe. We felt like we had an opportunity to make an impact and help other people.
Ong used family business connections to source high-quality PPE items at a good price and assembled branded kits with individually packaged sterile surgical face masks, disposable gloves and hand sanitizer.
His initial goal is to provide the AJGA with 3,000 kits to use for staff and volunteers on-site at some tournaments in 2020, which comes with an initial fundraising goal of $12,000. In Phase 2 of his project, he’d like to provide all AJGA members with a one-time use kit for all AJGA events in 2021 (8,000 kits) which will require him to fundraise an additional $32,000.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact local and state guidelines, these kits provide the opportunity for Ong to source products, work with internationally-based businesses, seek donations, fundraise, market on social media and his website, and recruit help from other peers and friends.
Ong donated his first set of PPE kits at the Harold Varner III Foundation Junior All-Star, his first tournament of 2020 and again at this week's AJGA Junior at Penn State.
“We looked at everything going on and thought we could best impact the junior golf community by providing these PPE kits to AJGA staff and volunteers to start. We hope to expand to provide all the players with protection. We know the AJGA’s social distancing measures will help, but these PPE kits can also help protect people.”
Ee-Ping Ong said he was proud of his son’s efforts to give back and help others.
“Life doesn’t revolve around academics and golf. He will have an opportunity to help others, some great goals and a mission we can all hope for – to work together.”