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Washington businesses raise money to help India breathe as COVID-19 crises worsens

Yoga businesses and tech CEOs are some of the groups raising money to buy oxygen canisters and medical equipment for patients in India.

TACOMA, Wash. — There are growing efforts to send much-needed relief and oxygen supplies to India, where millions are suffering amid a devastating wave of COVID-19 infections.

A group of yoga businesses in the Tacoma area plan to donate proceeds from classes, Wednesday, to GiveIndia, an organization providing helping supply oxygen canisters and breathing equipment to patients.

“Yoga in the West is a $12 billion industry, so to just take from a culture and ignore that there are humans suffering in that culture right now is unacceptable,” said Casey Hubbell, co-founder of Yoga Wild.

A group of tech and business leaders formed SeattleforIndia, an effort to raise $10 million to purchase 50,000 oxygen cylinders.

They are working with OxygenforIndia, a volunteer-run campaign delivering supplies to those who need it most, especially people living in poverty.

“We fear the worst is yet to come, and this is what is driving this incredible group of leaders from Seattle,” said Sunny Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Apptio, during a Zoom event introducing the initiative.

Indian-American Community Services, formerly known as India Association of Western Washington, is holding a virtual fundraiser this Saturday to support nonprofits already on the ground in India.

“Those who benefit from India’s culture that they have given to us, that we are learning from, we all can help out and rally around and give back, they need our help, so it doesn't have to stop tomorrow,” said Pamela Higley, a yoga teacher who is helping organize Wednesday’s events.