Jen Cloudman, a nurse at Mount Sinai South Nassau in New York, tells PEOPLE that her childhood best friend was determined to help out

By Ana Calderone
April 14, 2020 03:47 PM
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We should all be so lucky to have a friend like Amy Schumer.

The Trainwreck star donated 2,500 KN95 masks to the hospital where her childhood best friend Jen Cloudman works as a nurse caring for patients with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Schumer, 38, teamed up with Bethenny Frankel‘s foundation BStrong to make the donation earlier this month.

Schumer was determined to help, Cloudman tells PEOPLE, after she heard that her friend and fellow nurses at Mount Sinai South Nassau were “so afraid of running out” of the KN95 masks currently in short supply across the nation.

“We’ve been friends for probably almost 30 years now, since we were 11 years old. We talk all the time,” says Cloudman. “So we have a group chat where we just kind of support each other, especially in this time, and it was there that she reached out and said like, ‘We’re going to do this, I can do this, I can help.’ ”

Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital; Inset: Steve Granitz/WireImage

After receiving the donation, which also included 2,500 surgical masks and 2,500 “corona kits” with sanitizer and prevention essentials, Schumer and the hospital staff in Oceanside, New York got to thank each other through FaceTime.

“You don’t even know how much it means to us. It makes us feel safer,” says Cloudman in a video of the exchange. “We are extremely grateful. Everybody here has really, really been through a lot the last few weeks, and to know there’s people looking out for us, doing whatever they can, makes a big difference. Coming to work, it helps with morale.”

“I’m so grateful to you guys,” Schumer responds (with her son Gene by her side the whole time). “I’m so sorry you have to go through this. I’m so proud to know you Jen.”

Though the comedienne, a native New Yorker, was fighting back tears most of the video, she did manage to slip in a quick joke that had all the nurses cracking up.

“I want you all to know that Jen has been my best friend my whole life and she’s an amazing friend and an amazing mom — but you guys need to know that she was a total slut in high school,” jokes Schumer.

“She’s kidding!” quips back Cloudman.

The mom of three tells PEOPLE that her colleagues “got a kick out of” meeting her celebrity-best friend. “They thought it was funny,” she adds. “But really more than anything, everybody was just happy to get the masks.”

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.