Morgantown's Chinese community donates $10K for protective equipment to help in COVID-19 response

WVU faculty members HanTing Zhang (left) and Ming Pei (right), both officers with the West...
WVU faculty members HanTing Zhang (left) and Ming Pei (right), both officers with the West Virginia Chinese Association, deliver face masks received from China to Bartlett Housing Solutions Property & Kitchen Manager Rick Green (center) in Morgantown. (Photo: WVU)(WDTV)
Published: Apr. 6, 2020 at 5:49 PM EDT
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Morgantown's Chinese community has donated $10,000 to help supply masks, face shields, gloves and more for WVU Medicine personnel on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a news release from West Virginia University, more than 130 people contributed, including several WVU 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, according to the news release.

Members of both organizations rallied on social media, as well as other socially distance means, to identify ways they could help in the pandemic response, according to WVU. In addition to collecting donations for the purchase of personnel protective equipment, the groups 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.

The news release says members also donated 500 masks received from China to Bartlett Housing Solutions, which provides services to people that are homeless in the Morgantown area. Both groups continue to collect emergency relief items like 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 University says 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.

“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.”