As health care providers nationwide struggle to secure ample personal protective equipment to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, Morgantown’s Chinese community donated $10,000 to help supply masks, face shields, gloves and more for WVU Medicine personnel on the front lines.
More than 130 people contributed, including several West Virginia University faculty members. The fundraising effort was coordinated by the West Virginia Chinese Association, a Morgantown-based nonprofit group that aims to connect and provide support for Chinese professionals and their families in West Virginia, and the affiliated Chinese Association for Science and Technology West Virginia.
In recent weeks, members of both organizations rallied via social media and other socially distant means to identify ways they could aid in the pandemic response. In addition to collecting donations for the purchase of personal protective equipment, they shared critical information about COVID-19 with the Chinese community, debunked myths and misinformation about the virus, identified online education resources for families with kids at home, offered grocery-shopping assistance to people in need, provided contact information for certified Chinese equipment manufacturers and suppliers to local health care officials, and solicited equipment donations from contacts in China, where manufacturing has rebounded to surpass the need for supplies.
Members donated 500 masks received from China to Bartlett Housing Solutions, which provides services to people experiencing homeless in the Morgantown area. Both groups continue to collect emergency relief items — including masks, gloves and hand sanitizer — for at-risk community members.
“As an integral part of West Virginia, we in the Chinese community stand together with all local residents to do our best to promote safety, help the helpless and shield the sick,” said Ming Pei, president of the West Virginia Chinese Association and a professor in the WVU School of Medicine’s Department of Orthopaedics.
The leadership by Morgantown’s Chinese community reflects the growing number of Mountaineers asking what they can do to help WVU deliver vital services to students, faculty, staff and the state of West Virginia during this challenging time. With that in mind, the WVU Foundation created an online giving page that makes it easy to provide philanthropic support for personal protective equipment and other areas of special need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fundraising page complements WVU’s campus-wide efforts to support health care workers at WVU Medicine and around the state.
“We are so grateful for the Chinese community’s generous efforts to support WVU by ensuring the safety of WVU Medicine employees,” said B.J. Davisson, executive vice president and chief development officer for the WVU Foundation. “I’m proud to know that so many within our WVU family want to help. We know that Mountaineers come together during challenging times, and we must all work together to conquer this crisis, so we can rebound even stronger.”
All monetary donations are made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the university.