News publications and other organizations are encouraged to reuse Direct Relief-published content for free under a Creative Commons License (Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivatives 4.0 International), given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

When republishing:

  • Include a byline with the reporter’s name and Direct Relief in the following format: "Author Name, Direct Relief." If attribution in that format is not possible, include the following language at the top of the story: "This story was originally published by Direct Relief."
  • If publishing online, please link to the original URL of the story.
  • Maintain any tagline at the bottom of the story.
  • With Direct Relief's permission, news publications can make changes such as localizing the content for a particular area, using a different headline, or shortening story text. To confirm edits are acceptable, please check with Direct Relief by clicking this link.
  • If new content is added to the original story — for example, a comment from a local official — a note with language to the effect of the following must be included: "Additional reporting by [reporter and organization]."
  • If republished stories are shared on social media, Direct Relief appreciates being tagged in the posts:
    • Twitter (@DirectRelief)
    • Facebook (@DirectRelief)
    • Instagram (@DirectRelief)

Republishing Images:

Unless stated otherwise, images shot by Direct Relief may be republished for non-commercial purposes with proper attribution, given the republisher complies with the requirements identified below.

  • Maintain correct caption information.
  • Credit the photographer and Direct Relief in the caption. For example: "First and Last Name / Direct Relief."
  • Do not digitally alter images.

Direct Relief often contracts with freelance photographers who usually, but not always, allow their work to be published by Direct Relief’s media partners. Contact Direct Relief for permission to use images in which Direct Relief is not credited in the caption by clicking here.

Other Requirements:

  • Do not state or imply that donations to any third-party organization support Direct Relief's work.
  • Republishers may not sell Direct Relief's content.
  • Direct Relief's work is prohibited from populating web pages designed to improve rankings on search engines or solely to gain revenue from network-based advertisements.
  • Advance permission is required to translate Direct Relief's stories into a language different from the original language of publication. To inquire, contact us here.
  • If Direct Relief requests a change to or removal of republished Direct Relief content from a site or on-air, the republisher must comply.

For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

In Living Rooms and on WeChat, A New Group Is Fighting Coronavirus

After the city of Wuhan was locked down to prevent the spread of the virus, a group of Bay Area residents sprang into action.



Members of Wuhan United, a Bay Area-based group, coordinate their coronavirus response. (Photo courtesy of Tom Gong)

Three weeks ago, the organization Wuhan United didn’t exist.

But on January 23, the Chinese government locked down the city of Wuhan in an attempt to contain a novel coronavirus, and a group of Bay Area residents, all of Chinese descent and raised or educated in Wuhan, swung into action.

“When the lockdown happened, we realized this is really, really serious,” said Tom Gong, a Silicon Valley business owner who was born in Wuhan and educated at the city’s Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

For Gong, the outbreak was deeply personal. He’d done business in Wuhan for years. His wife’s family – including her younger sister – were doctors at Wuhan Union Hospital. And he’d only recently returned from a business trip to China, which made him feel he’d had a narrow escape. “The virus was probably already there,” he said.

Gong recruited Bay Area-based alumni from two Wuhan universities to form Wuhan United, an initiative devoted to procuring much-needed supplies to fight the outbreak.

“I felt I had to do something, and I think most of the people in Wuhan United felt the same way,” said Xiaosong Zhou, an engineer at Apple who’s active in the group. (Most members don’t have finely-defined roles – they just do what’s needed at the moment, from handling the finances to seeking out new opportunities for collaboration.)

“At the beginning, we didn’t know how much we could do,” said Zhou. “So we kind of got together and tried to figure out ways to help.”

For the doctors fighting coronavirus, one of the biggest problems has been the lack of supplies, including personal protective equipment like masks, gowns, and gloves. “People are dying. Doctors are working without protection,” Gong said bluntly.

Wuhan United’s members were all too aware of the problem, but “at the beginning we didn’t have much of a clue how to get started,” Zhou said.

Members first tried going to local drugstores and purchasing masks to send to China, but quickly realized it simply wasn’t an efficient way to help. Next, they reached out to large manufacturers, but the companies either didn’t have reserves or required a larger order than the initiative’s members could make.

Then Gong remembered Direct Relief. He’d encountered the organization during its response to the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, and knew it had a significant medical inventory. So he decided to reach out.

His request crossed the desk of Cydney Justman, a senior emergency response manager at Direct Relief. “We’re getting dozens of requests for support,” she said. But Gong’s stood out. “He was so aware of all the logistical hurdles and complications…and was able to put forth a plan.”

Gong was able to connect Direct Relief to contacts at Wuhan Union Hospital, along with Hubei Charity Federation and the Chinese Red Cross – both organizations, Justman said, that are approved to receive charitable donations in China. FedEx donated its transportation and logistics services. And a wide range of private sector companies and foundations offered help.

A Direct Relief shipment sent in coordination with Wuhan United arrives in China. (Photo courtesy of Wuhan United)

Gong’s expertise and precision were essential, Justman said. He confirmed that the specific products Direct Relief could offer were precisely what was needed. “We felt really comfortable that what we were sending was going to be well received,” Justman said.

The initiative – currently around 30 people – continues to gain ground. “It’s like a company, with people doing business development, people doing support and operations,” Gong said.

Since most of its members have full-time jobs, meetings are held from 10 p.m. to midnight. If something needs to be done quickly, it’s done by whoever happens to be free at that moment. “We have a WeChat group. We just shout out, ‘Who wants to do this?’” Zhou said.

It’s been hard for Wuhan United’s members, many of whom have family or friends in areas hit hard by the coronavirus. Zhou has friends, classmates, and in-laws in quarantined Wuhan.

“There’s definitely a lot of fear. Partly because of the disease, partly because the situation is not clear,” he said. “I’ve heard stories about friends of friends who have been sick and had trouble finding a bed in a hospital.”

Wuhan United also works with alumni associations inside Wuhan, who have organized volunteers to help distribute medical supplies. “They’re really risking their own health and their own lives to do this, because the hospital is really the one place you don’t want to be. It was very touching, talking to them,” Zhou said.

Although the initiative is currently focused on shipping supplies to help stop the disease’s spread, Zhou said he imagines having a more long-term role to play.

“There’s going to be a lot more work to do… I imagine there are going to be a lot of problems,” he said. “Our goal is not just to help them through this phase of the crisis but also the recovery from this, in the future.”

Giving is Good Medicine

You don't have to donate. That's why it's so extraordinary if you do.