Lebanese American University (LAU) is turning to crowdfunding for its latest campaign that seeks to raise funds for a community-wide COVID-19 vaccination program. Hosted on the GiveCampus platform until May 31, 2021, the LAU Vaccination & Covid-19 Response Campaign has a $150,000 target of fresh US dollars in order for the institution to purchase the vaccines.
The six-week crowdfunding initiative is part of a broader campaign to raise $2.25 million to secure vaccines for LAU students, faculty, and staff, as well as the greater community. In line with Lebanon’s Ministry of Public Health – which granted LAU Medical Center (LAUMC) and three other healthcare providers the authority to purchase and administer the vaccines – LAU aims to acquire 200,000 doses within the next two months.
“We need to reach our supporters around the world, and crowdfunding allows us to do just that so we can fundraise resources as quickly as possible from those who can donate in US dollars from abroad,” explained LAU Assistant Vice President for Development Nadya Mikdashi.
Crowdfunding, which is the process of funding a project or cause by raising small or mid-sized gifts from a large number of people online, is especially vital for this campaign as the vaccine purchase will be in fresh US dollars.
“LAU and LAUMC continue to play an important role in the nation’s effort to respond to the crisis, but they can do so much more with our global community’s support to get these vaccines,” explained LAU Vice President for Advancement Dr. George K. Najjar.
Indeed, since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic, LAU and LAUMC have been on the frontline. From a dedicated COVID-19 ER unit to a mobile clinic administering free PCR tests in rural areas, the university and its medical center is doing everything it can to help halt the spread of the virus and provide critical assistance to those who have contracted it.
Yet, it is not enough. Lebanon has one of the highest daily infection rates worldwide. Hundreds of thousands of people in Lebanon have contracted the virus, and thousands more have succumbed to it.
“The only way forward is through vaccinating the majority of Lebanon’s population to reach herd immunity,” said LAU President Dr. Michel E. Mawad, who has held several online webinars to openly discuss the vaccination program and field any questions from the community.
Echoing President Mawad on the importance of immunization, LAU Assistant Vice President for Development Nassib N. Nasr commented, “Vaccinations are essential for the nation to return to some level of normalcy. It is also vital for LAU in order to safeguard its future.”
Supporters looking to make a difference in Lebanon and help LAU and LAUMC take steps toward much-needed immunization against COVID-19 can access the crowdfunding initiative at bit.ly/LAUVAX.