The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation and University of Hawaiʻi have partnered to establish two new funds in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to help those on our campuses.
“As we adjust to a new reality amid concerns about the novel coronavirus, friends and alumni have been asking us how they can help,” said University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner. “Many of our funders and donors have reached out expressing concern for the welfare of our students. They also want to hear what UH is doing on the research front to participate in the fight against COVID-19.”
Urgent Student Relief Fund
In times of emergencies like this, some students at UH’s 10 campuses find themselves in urgent financial distress. The usual pressures of finishing the semester are exacerbated by the pandemic’s pervasive upheaval of routines and constant concern for family and friends.
Financially, many UH students who are already living on a shoestring are even closer to the edge. Students relying on jobs for tuition are being laid off. Others need childcare as schools temporarily closed, access to computers as classes moved online, transportation when living arrangements shift and food when their meals off campus may be in doubt.
“The type of assistance our students need is evolving, but UH is ready to respond,” said Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Hae Okimoto. “Additional resources will support our students to stay on track with their academic journeys so they can help us build the strong economy of tomorrow.”
COVID-19 and Infections and Emerging Diseases Research Fund
UH researchers are working fervently to detect, prevent and cure COVID-19, and other infectious and emerging diseases in the islands and abroad.
Among other efforts, scientists at the John A. Burns School of Medicine are expanding ongoing development of heat-stable vaccines for viruses, to include coronaviruses causing COVID-19. Success means rapid, efficient manufacturing of vaccines with broad application for the general population, including our children and seniors.
Our experienced UH scientists are also working on the development of processes for rapid screening and surveillance of COVID-19 in the islands and abroad.
Tim Dolan, UH vice president of advancement and UH Foundation CEO said, “Our donors and community want to be part of the global solution. As the nonprofit that raises funds to support UH students and research, we are committed to supporting our community in every way we can. We are all in this together.”