When Chinese students heard about MIU’s need for personal protective equipment (PPE) due to the COVID-19 pandemic, several of them stepped up by donating masks. PhD student Yong Xu has sent 50 face shields, 500 KN95 masks, and four infrared thermometers from China. He has also donated 2,000 disposable surgical masks, with 500 already received and the rest on the way. Mr. Xu is a business owner who is completing his PhD in management at MIU’s Shanghai China program. He heard about MIU’s need for masks from Professor Scott Herriott during a class.
“With the deepening of my study, I have learned more about Maharishi International University,” said Mr. Xu. “I think it is a magical university, and I like its teaching characteristics of developing human wisdom and its educational concept of harmonious coexistence between man and nature. I hope the global outbreak will be over as soon as possible, and I wish Maharishi International University well, to pass on good education to more people.”
MBA student Yi (Erin) Zhang has donated 2,000 disposable masks. Due to customs issues, she had to send the masks in 20 different shipments to 20 individuals at MIU, and they all have arrived. Both students have gone to great length to send their shipments, in spite of various customs and shipping restrictions.
Here is what Yi said about her inspiration: “Because of the severe epidemic in China, masks became scarce. At that time, MIU sent us masks from the United States, which was very touching. Furthermore, MIU has built an excellent learning platform for us, and classes have not been suspended during the epidemic. Sending these masks is a trivial expression of my gratitude.”
The surgical masks are provided to students who have off-campus doctors’ appointments, to faculty members who have to travel home after teaching here, and for students returning to campus from home. Masks have also been distributed to employees in the mailroom and food service. MIU faculty member Yunxiang Zhu also proactively purchased 200 KN95 masks for the MIU clinic in February.
“These supplies are very difficult to find in the US, and we were very excited to receive them,” said Vina Miller, head of the nurses’ office at the campus clinic.
In addition, MS in computer science student Longxiang Xiao contributed 600 masks that have been distributed to students through Student Activities. Longxiang first initiated a fundraiser in March, soon after the outbreak in Wuhan, China. He not only raised $2,500, but he also purchased the masks and found a shipping agent and a volunteer group to distribute the masks in hospitals in Wuhan. When a month later MIU was in need of surgical masks, he began a second fundraiser among his Chinese friends to purchase masks for MIU students.
“The Chinese have a saying: ‘The grace of dripping water should be reciprocated by a gushing spring,’” said Longxiang. “MIU students, teachers, and staff helped Chinese hospitals before, when they were in a very bad situation, so it was time for us to help you!”