Rensselaer Donates 10,000 Surgical Masks to New York Hospitals

April 15, 2020

Rensselaer Donates 10,000 Surgical Masks to New York Hospitals

Thousands of masks shipped to Rensselaer by generous parents of Chinese students

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is donating 5,000 surgical masks to Mount Sinai in New York City and 2,500 masks each to Albany Medical Center and St. Peter’s Health Partners in the Capital Region. These contributions to the fight against COVID-19 have been made possible through the generosity of the parents of international students at the Institute.

Though Rensselaer has transitioned to online course instruction in order to reduce the risks to the campus community amid the global pandemic, many international students and others with extenuating circumstances have remained in campus housing. Knowing this, parents in China began reaching out to Rensselaer in March to ask how they might help promote the wellness of the campus and the community. These inquiries ultimately led to a coordinated effort involving more than 200 Chinese families, who arranged to ship thousands of surgical masks to Rensselaer from China.

“We thank these incredibly generous families for their support and their ingenuity during this difficult time,” said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson. “As they have demonstrated, Rensselaer is truly a global community, and we are all committed to doing our part to change the world for the better. We are glad to be able to extend the good will of our parents in China to support the health care workers on the front lines of the battle with COVID-19 in New York.”

In addition to donating 10,000 masks to hospitals in New York state, Rensselaer will be able to provide surgical masks to all students remaining in campus housing, as well as all essential staff who may be returning or continuing to work on campus, on an ongoing basis as a result of this international collaboration.

“I really appreciate all the efforts RPI has made to keep students safe and ensure that classes are ongoing during the pandemic,” one parent from China wrote last month as plans to ship the masks came together. “I fully understand the challenges you are facing now, as China just experienced the same challenges in the past two months. All the Chinese parents are very glad to do what we can do to support RPI and overcome these difficulties.”


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