School NewsApr 27, 2020

— updated Aug 24, 2020

MHS families donate medical supplies

Families of MHS students from China send boxes of medical supplies to the School

The ongoing coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has upended the world as we know it, but it can’t stop bold and creative contributions to the common good.

Families of MHS students from China, upon learning of the healthcare crisis in the United States, have been generously sending boxes of medical supplies to the School. MHS, in turn, has been distributing the masks, gloves, gowns, and other supplies to the MHS Health Center and Horizons partners — including Berkshire Medical Center and Dr. Brian Dempsey (also the School’s physician) — on the front lines of fighting the pandemic.

To date, the School has received ten shipments with an estimated 5,000 surgical facemasks, 200 non-medical facemasks, 600 N95 respirators, 175 gowns/scrubs, 1,000 pairs of exam gloves, and 30 face shields. The supplies were sent from more than thirty families in China, and the first box arrived earlier this month with this note: “Although we are a sea apart, we are all under the same moon.”

"I am so grateful for our community and how we take care of each other,” said Head of School Julia Heaton. “Throughout the school year, we see many examples of students, faculty, and staff giving back to the local Berkshires community. To see this same spirit extend to our families around the world is truly inspiring.”

Ms. Heaton’s executive assistant, Janet Boyer, Director of Campus Services Robert Aldrich, Director of Health Services Christie Puz, and Director of Horizons Alison Basdekis are coordinating the receipt and redeployment of the supplies.

"I am incredibly grateful to the families who organized this effort and incredibly proud that the MHS family community is aligned with the ethos of the Miss Hall's School commitment to the common good," said Ms. Basdekis, who delivered the supplies to the hospital. "BMC was so incredibly grateful. The frontline medical workers are being lifted up by these donations. There were also homemade signs at the entrance and on the lawn in front of the hospital including heartfelt words and images of gratitude from the wider community, which certainly signifies that we live in a deeply compassionate community."

And, the Miss Hall’s ethos keeps on giving.

In recent weeks, Cailyn Tetteh ’22 and Truc Hoang ’22 developed the Community Action Fund to help friends struggling to adjust travel plans as COVID-19 spread across the U.S. They articulated a vision of individual contributions and class gifts, plus support from MHS alumnae, families, and friends, to make a direct impact on the lives of students. To date, the fund has raised more than $38,500.

In February, as the coronavirus crisis was in full swing in China, sophomores Julianna Jia, Kaity Weng, and Christina Zheng launched a fundraising initiative to support the purchase of medical supplies needed by healthcare workers in that country. The Relief Awareness Facts Team (RAFT), supported by the Chinese Culture Club, donated all proceeds to the Wuhan Tongji Hospital in China.

“We see examples of this generosity of spirit time and time again at Miss Hall’s,” Ms. Heaton added. “From fundraising for micro-loans, to pitching in at Habitat for Humanity builds, to collecting bras and feminine hygiene supplies for homeless women and girls, contributing to the common good comes second nature to Miss Hall’s school students. I am so proud to be part of a global school community that lives our mission every day."