SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — Chinese students and alumni from the Stillman School of Business China MBA Program came together to donate 2,000 personal protective equipment gowns to first responders, nursing homes and other health care facilities in Essex County. Through their collective efforts, the group raised a total of 489,384 renminbi, or approximately $69,122, to purchase these essential items and deliver them to their fellow Setonians and health care workers throughout the area during the past two weeks.
After the coronavirus started to spread in the United States, Jason Yin, professor and chairperson in the Department of Management, who oversees the China MBA Program, wanted to organize a donation drive among alumni and students in China. He collaborated with Longguang Shi, non-executive director of Viagold Capital, which provides international educational services, to find a China-based manufacturer that could produce protective equipment with any funds collected.
The drive received an overwhelming response from Stillman students and alumni in China. Many members of the community personally reached out to ask how they could contribute. One student wrote, “Coronavirus is the common enemy of all of humankind. It is not confined by borders. We have to unite and fight back the same way.”
“All the MBA students and alumni felt the pain of their alma mater in the pandemic disaster and expressed their strong desire to help,” Yin said. “They see this as a small token in return for the Seton Hall education they received.”
Yin also said that Shi felt inspired to join the relief effort after connecting with so many Seton Hall students and faculty in China. He donated $14,000 on behalf of his firm.
Based on the considerable size of the donation, members of University Advancement, who helped coordinate the delivery on the New Jersey end, chose to distribute the supplies through the Essex County Sheriff’s Office. The office serves as the local FEMA distribution center. The equipment will be accessible to front-line workers in more than 20 municipalities throughout the county.
“Our public sector–private sector partnership with these generous and civic-minded institutions has resulted in our acquisition of vital equipment, which will be distributed to Essex County first responders who are now on the dangerous front line in mitigating the potentially deadly impact of coronavirus on a daily basis,” Sheriff Armando Fontoura said. “Seton Hall University and Viagold have proved their magnanimity, unselfishness and community spirit in helping us save the lives of our neighbors.”
“We are pleased that our partners at Viagold and our alumni from China have chosen to help the Seton Hall community in such a meaningful way,” said Sheila Wolfinger, university associate vice president for development. “Many of the front-line health care workers and first responders in Essex County are Seton Hall students, alumni, friends and parents, and this donation will directly impact their health and safety.”
For more information on how to support the Seton Hall relief effort, visit advancement.shu.edu/support/covid-19-relief-fund.