PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In times of need and crisis, there are always people who want to “do”, who want to help.

Linda Smales is a registered nurse and teaches nursing. She knew personal protective equipment, or PPE, was running low in health care facilities.

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She heard as much from her nurse friends.

“I felt so much guilt, I felt so much helplessness,” she said.

She knew she needed to do something. That’s when it came to her.

“I was like, nail salons have PPE. They don’t have gowns obviously, but they do have masks and right now that would be a huge perk to get for my health care front liner friends,” Linda told KDKA’s Heather Abraham.

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Linda posted a message on Facebook and partnered with her sister, Thy Chan Gallagher, who owns Tan Lac Vien in Squirrel Hill.

“Thank you to the Vietnamese community for helping us out, for helping out our cause,” Linda said in a Facebook post video.

Word spread fast. Donations flooded in.

“Literally in one week, Heather, it’s crazy. We collected hundreds of thousands of gloves, thousands of masks, hundreds of sanitizers like it’s crazy,” said Linda.

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Nursing homes, health care facilities, police departments, and hospitals benefitted from all the donations.

Heather Abraham