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How five brothers are helping families stay connected during COVID-19

Andreas Christy (bottom center) and his family

Working in the medical field is becoming somewhat of a tradition in Andreas Christy’s family. One of his older brothers is in medical school. Another is studying to become a dentist. Andreas, a college senior, is also planning to attend medical school. So, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was only natural that he wanted to do something.

“A lot of people were suffering,” he said. “I felt like there should be some way I could help.”

Andreas and his four brothers decided to raise money using their social media networks and family connections. He and his oldest brother, Billy, also decided to have some fun along the way.

“My hair had gotten pretty long by that time, so Billy and I both shaved our heads for the cause.”

Word quickly spread, and the brothers raised more than $2,100 to help hospitals in the Chicago area, including Advocate Christ Medical Center.

“A lot of my college friends donated, as well as my brothers’ friends. We also got support from our family,” Andreas said. “It was exciting to see how many people wanted to give. My friends are all in school – no one has steady jobs yet, but they all gave what they could.”

Initially, the plan was to use the donations to purchase tablets so families who couldn’t visit loved ones could stay connected.

“But then we came up with the idea of donating chargers for phones and tablets,” explained Andreas. “A charger is the last thing you think to bring to the hospital.”

They teamed up with a local nurse who had a similar idea and together, they formed the “Charger Squad.” Working with wholesale sellers, they were able to purchase a total of 750 chargers, which they distributed to Advocate Christ Medical Center and four other local hospitals.

“It was an extraordinary experience. It became a grassroots movement of all these people who were excited to help in a situation where so many of us were feeling helpless.”

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