Angels Among Us: Facemasks and martial arts for the community

Facemask donations and online programs are no surprise during COVID-19, but one Richmond member has taken it upon herself to create as many masks as she can for high-risk individuals while providing free martial arts classes online.

Serena Lim, co-founder of Frias Fight Team, has been donating under the radar until several Richmond residents brought forth her dedication to the community.

One resident, Dave Bolton, reached out to the Richmond News about Lim making facemasks while teaching online boxing lessons for free with her partner Mark Frias.

 “Serena refuses to be frustrated, and continues to look for avenues to give back to her community,” said Bolton, adding that Lim and Frias have made a “positive impact” on everyone they have interacted with.

“She constantly refuses financial help, which I have offered, and is paying for the supplies out of her own pocket despite the fact that neither she nor Mark have an income and may not for the foreseeable future.”

Lim told the News she refused the donations because she believed the money would make a bigger difference when donated to organizations instead of to her.

 “(People) making a donation to a food bank or a charity could help more people rather than having the money go to me,” said Lim.

Some of her masks are sold on her Instagram page to help with the cost of materials.

For every $8 mask Lim sold online, the money would go towards purchasing more fabric which allowed her to make and donate five more masks to the community.

And since March, she has donated about 300 masks.

Her donations have also gone to organizations such as the Richmond Food Bank, Richmond Food Security Society and the Potluck Society in Vancouver.

“I have friends who are nurses, and they’re working 10 to 12 hours a day putting their lives at risk and I’m just at home sewing,” said Lim.

“This is nothing compared to them.”

Angels Among Us is an on-going series dedicated to all the community members who have done acts of joy and optimism for others during a difficult time. Email us at to share your story.

© Richmond News