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Missouri S&T Students Raising Money For Coronavirus Fight Can’t Get Money To China

Missouri S&T students in the campus Havener Center on Feb. 28, 2020, raising money for coronavirus supplies for a Chinese hospital.
Jonathan Ahl | St. Louis Public Radio
Missouri S&T students from China raised money for coronavirus supplies but have had difficulties in getting the country to accept the donation.

ROLLA — Missouri University of Science and Technology students from China are raising money to help their home country fight the new coronavirus, but so far they haven’t found a way to get money or supplies to China.

The school’s Chinese Scholars and Students Association started taking donations in the middle of last week and have already raised more than $4,000.

Jiaqi Chen, an electrical engineering major from Wuhan, the city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak, said she’s faced hurdles getting her hometown hospital to accept the money.

“Right now they don’t take any donations from individual people, but we will still prepare the money for the potential outbreak in the U.S. And maybe we will use the money in Rolla,” Chen said.

Chen said that while her group is more than happy to save the money for local efforts, it has not exhausted all options to get the funds back to China.

“We tried to connect with a bigger charity. They had more power and more resources, and they have more people to help us buy the things we want and ship them back to China,” Chen said, adding that her group hasn't yet heard back from that charity, which she declined to name.

Chen said the Missouri S&T community has been generous. She said community members understand that while the coronavirus is becoming a worldwide issue, the outbreak is at its worst in China.

The Chinese Scholars and Students Association and faculty members are holding a seminar to explain coronavirus and answer questions at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Havener Center at Missouri S&T.

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Jonathan is the Rolla correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.