Husky Global

International Huskies provide a world of help

University of Washington alumni and friends around the world have come together to give back in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic. From providing Seattle hospitals with protective equipment to caring for medical workers in their own communities, they are prime examples of what it means to have Husky Spirit.

In a recent message, UW President Ana Mari Cauce emphasized that support like theirs goes far beyond the University, impacting those responding to COVID-19 and the communities they serve. “This crisis has illustrated what a profoundly generous and courageous community our Husky family is. You truly inspire and invigorate those on the front lines of this crisis and all of us at the UW making decisions on behalf of your University.”

The crisis has also illustrated how creative our international Husky community can be. They have pulled together resources, rallied friends and shown that help can come in all shapes and sizes.

Providing protection

Hall Health staff receive a donation of PPE from the China HuskiesPersonal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks, gloves and face shields plays a critical role in stopping the spread of COVID-19. When the call went out for donations of equipment, international Huskies answered.

Beijing Husky Jingjing Chen, ’13, helped coordinate a donation of 10,000 face masks from Everest Venture Capital. An additional 38,000 masks reached the UW thanks to a group that included more than 300 parents of current students from China. In an enormous show of unity they worked together to secure, ship and deliver the masks to Seattle where they can now be shared with those most in need.

Protective equipment isn’t the only way to meet the physical needs of health-care workers. Members of the China Chamber of Commerce in Washington State (CCCWA) set out to raise funds for their “FOOD with LOVE” project which aims to coordinate 10,000 donated meals from more than a dozen local small businesses for UW hospitals. Now, their efforts are expanding as the organization looks beyond the UW and to providing more than $400,000 in meals for Seattle-area hospitals.

Caring locally

Health care workers receive a donation from the Indonesia HuskiesWe’re deeply grateful for all the international Huskies who are supporting the UW during our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re also thrilled to see Huskies making a difference in their own communities and showing that the UW’s impact is truly global.

The Indonesia Huskies are a perfect representation of this impact. Their extraordinary efforts to give back have helped equip more than a dozen hospitals and health care facilities in Indonesia. Each week since early March, they have focused on providing a different type of PPE – from face masks and shields to fully body suits.

Their generosity has put tens of thousands of units of PPE in the hands of medical workers in Indonesia and they didn’t stop there. They also raised more than $2,500 and donated hundreds of boxed meals to those working on the frontlines. Their continuing efforts have earned them local media coverage and are helping to show the world how Huskies give back.

Funding the greatest needs

Unloading a donation from the Mask4WA campaignInternational Huskies are also helping to meet the financial needs caused by the pandemic. Some are giving directly, donating to funds that support UW Medicine and students in need. Others are tapping in to their own networks and rallying their friends to give in support of the COVID-19 response in Seattle.

The China Huskies alumni community set out to raise $10,000 for PPE. However, thanks to an enthusiastic response, they were able to move their goal up to $50,000 and provide even more protection for frontline workers.

Closer to campus, Crysti Chen, ’15, and Ryan Fan, ’15, helped organized a campaign to go beyond the UW and provide protective equipment for hospitals across Washington. Their #Masks4WA campaign quickly raised more than $20,000 and supplied medical workers with the gear they needed to continue responding to COVID-19 – as well as plenty of coffee to help keep them energized.

Gifts like these not only support the University. They enable us to make an even bigger positive impact in Seattle, the state of Washington and the world.