Virtual celebrity auction launched to support health workers


A new auction is underway to raise money in the battle against COVID-19. Celebrities are coming together to help protect doctors and nurses.

A New York doctor documents the around-the-clock efforts to save lives in the fight against the coronavirus.

“I heard that our volume is just exploding,” said Dr. Erik Blutinger at Mt. Sinai Queens Hospital. β€œAnd we have so many people in the hallways that are all [COVID-19] positive.”

As doctors and nurses care for the sick, some facilities are reporting massive shortages of critical supplies.

“These people are heroes,” actor Harry Hamlin said. “We can’t do enough for them.”

Hamlin is one many artists raising money for personal protective equipment. The “End COVID-19 Campaign” on the auction site Charitybuzz allows people to bid on a virtual meeting with celebrities like Keenan Thompson, Ne-Yo and Lisa Rinna.

β€œI’m amazed every time I turn on the TV or listen to the news,” Hamlin said. β€œAnd I hear about these people who are putting their lives in danger every time they help a person who’s sick.”

GVNG CEO Dominic Kalms is behind the campaign. The mission is to donate items such as face masks, face shields, and gloves.

“I just felt compelled as honestly a citizen and a person who loves this country to try to help,” said Dominic Kalms, the CEO of GVNG. “This medical equipment that’s gonna be sent to these hospitals may save the life of a nurse, doctor, a frontline healthcare worker.”

The virtual auction raised more than $100,000 in its first week alone, helping hospitals from Washington to Georgia. The 1-on-1 chats via Zoom, Skype or FaceTime can range in price from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.

“It’s really all about at this point in time giving and trying to give back to those people who are in my opinion just beyond heroic.”

To bid on one of these virtual celebrity experiences, visit the End COVID-19 website.

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