A $2 million donation from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will vastly increase efforts underway at Arizona State University to help communities combat COVID-19.

3 uplifting stories that show how philanthropy has been critical to fighting COVID-19

ASU Foundation
3 min readApr 27, 2020

We’re all in this together, and Arizona State University donors — through gifts past and present—have ensured that the university could mobilize to serve its students and community in a time of great need.

A boost to COVID-19 testing and supplies

A $2 million donation in emergency grants from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will vastly increase efforts underway at ASU to ramp up production of automated, rapid diagnostic testing for the COVID-19 virus and use 3D printing to create personal protective equipment for first responders.

The gift to ASU’s Biodesign Institute also equips the university to assemble thousands per day of the nose- and throat-swab test kits that are in short supply for healthcare providers.

Read more about how ASU Biodesign is mobilizing: “Let’s go save some lives.”

Remote teaching resources for parents and students alike

Like a “high-tech Amish barn raising,” hundreds of people, working mostly from home, created a digital student-teaching experience in two weeks.

The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College had more than 1,500 teacher candidates in 450 schools when the COVID-19 pandemic sent everyone home. Donor support is ensuring­ those students remain a valuable resource to Arizona school districts — and graduate on time with the proper credentials.

Find out how.

Through Sun Devil Learning Labs online platform, ASU teacher candidates deliver live streaming lessons, with supervision and coaching from ASU faculty, to learners from pre-kindergarten through grade 8. “Gifts supporting technology and design thinking helped us develop the ability to respond quickly and effectively to this crisis,” says Carole Basile, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College dean.

Food for some of the most vulnerable

Coming from Arizona’s foster care system, Yaritza Hernandez Gil worked hard to attend college. She was making ends meet … until the coronavirus hit.

Fortunately, donors to Arizona State University’s Bridging Success program are making sure she doesn’t face this crisis alone. By giving to its emergency fund, donors are providing grocery store gift cards that enable Hernandez Gil and other students like her to overcome food insecurity.

“They’re always positive because they’re such a resilient group of people, but you can also tell the emotional weight of the situation is very real,” said Justine Cheung, program manager for Bridging Success.

Read more about how this support has made an immediate impact on students in crisis.

“It’s tough to not get a paycheck,” Yaritza Hernandez Gil said. “But (emergency crisis funding) allows me to have meals for myself.”

If you’d like to help support these efforts or others, please visit us online. Together, we can respond to our communities’ greatest needs.

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About ASU Foundation

The foundation, a subsidiary of ASU Enterprise Partners, is a private, nonprofit organization that raises and invests private contributions to Arizona State University. It is one of Arizona’s oldest nonprofits.

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ASU Foundation

ASU Foundation, one of Arizona’s oldest nonprofits, raises and invests private contributions to Arizona State University. https://www.asufoundation.org/