Pastor Doug Nelson (Courtesy photo)

True Zion Baptist Church and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity (Western Province), in partnership with BestBuy, are donating hundreds of phone chargers to two local hospitals to provide a way for patients to stay in contact with friends and family.

The distributions are set for Monday, April 20, at 10 a.m., at Centinela Hospital Medical Center, 555 E. Hardy St., in Inglewood. At 12 p.m., chargers will be contributed to Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, 1680 E. 120th St., in Los Angeles.

Explaining how the donation came about, the Rev. Doug Nelson, pastor of True Zion Missionary Baptist Church and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, said, “What brought this need to light was I received a call from one of my members who had just been checked in to the hospital with the virus.  We were praying and she explained to me she was in the hospital without her Bible and as we were praying, the phone died.

“After a week of calling her and trying to connect, I finally heard back from her.  She had been released from the hospital and was sent home to finish up her quarantine.  She said she did not have a charger and as a result had no way to stay in touch with anyone,” he said.

The experience made the pastor realize that there was a need that no one was addressing or even considering.  “When you go to the hospital to get checked, you don’t do it with the intention of being hospitalized and thus don’t take much, if anything, with you,” said Nelson.  So, he reached out to a number of other churches and fraternity members asking, “How Do We Address This Need?”

As a result, Nelson, and Pastors Gregory Perkins of The View Church, Robert A. Williams of McCoy Memorial, J. Benjamin Hardwick of Praises of Zion, along with Erik Dickson of Kappa Alpha Psi connected with Best Buy to donate the phone chargers to the hospitals.

In a statement released by the group, the pastors and fraternity stated, “Local and statewide faith and fraternity leaders have come together to respond to the disproportionate number of African American and Latino community members being impacted by the coronavirus.

“We have partnered with Best Buy, through True Zion’s Stay Connected Life Ministries, to provide cell phone chargers to hospitals serving COVID-19 patients to ensure that they stay connected to family, friends and loved-ones. The chargers provide a virtual lifeline for patients as they are literally disconnected from the world during the quarantine and beyond.”

Perkins of The View Church added, “Each of our organization’s members have been ravaged by this virus, so through Pastor Nelson’s leadership, we partnered with Best Buy, who provided their products at a discount, so we could ensure our COVID-19 patients stay connected with their family, friends and loved-ones.”