As the coronavirus outbreak worsened in China, Daniel Wu, WG’20, who is based in Los Angeles, became very concerned. His mother’s neighborhood in China went into self-quarantine and other family members in China were impacted by travel restrictions. He wanted to do something to help his home country.
Talking to contacts at the Chinese Young Professionals Network (CYPN), a nonprofit group he cofounded in 2011 to support Chinese students in the U.S., he learned that masks and coveralls were in critically short supply. He quickly mobilized the Wharton and CYPN networks to identify people who could donate supplies or money to purchase supplies.
In the process of reaching out to the Wharton EMBA community, he learned that a classmate in the class behind him was leading a similar effort. Like Daniel, Ada Zhang, WG’21, has family in China. She also lives there and commutes to Wharton’s campus in San Francisco from Beijing.
Ada said, “Every day, people are becoming sick or dying in my home country and I wanted to do something. Even though I live far away from Wuhan, I’m staying temporarily in California as a preventative measure. That’s motivating me to do even more to help with this disaster.”
Daniel and Ada teamed up to leverage their connections in their own EMBA classes as well as EMBA classmates on the East Coast and the full-time MBA program. They soon formed an unofficial committee of volunteers, which included ZQ Hu, WG’21, Abigail Ye, WG’21, and Shihui Wang, WG’21. They also connected with the Wharton Greater China Club (GCC), which is a club primarily for full-time MBA students.
With the GCC, they created a platform for the Wharton alumni community to contribute to the project. So far, the GCC estimates that the project has donated 10,000 medical gloves and 900 protective suits to China, valued at roughly $15,000.
Daniel noted, “Classmates, faculty, and staff have been tremendously helpful. It’s common for students who work in the medical field to offer to send us any boxes they can. And one of Ada’s professors allowed her to use a few minutes of class time to talk about the project.”
He pointed out that social impact projects are common among Wharton EMBA students. “A lot of them have their own initiatives, participate in or work at nonprofits, or serve as board members of nonprofits. EMBA students are very busy, but they care about their communities and find time to help in any way they can.”
He added, “This project to collect medical supplies for China is very meaningful to me. I want to do everything I can to help the first line of defense for the medical staff in China by getting them the necessary equipment.”
Ada noted that this is her first time helping to launch a charity project. “I wasn’t sure how much of an impact I could make, but I knew it was important to take action immediately. The more I get involved, the deeper I understand the world. It turns out that the Wharton community can make a big difference working together. We will continue to leverage the Wharton community to make an impact.”
— Meghan Laska
Posted: March 11, 2020