Students and donors gathered together on Thursday, Nov. 21, to raise money to send medical supplies from the MCV Campus to Bangladesh.
The event was a fundraising banquet and art auction hosted by the VCU chapter of United 2 Heal.
The group aimed to raise enough money to fund the shipment to send excess medical supplies from the MCV campus to hospitals in Bangladesh, said Ali Salman, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering and the president of the VCU chapter of United 2 Heal.
Idalmy Escobar, a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering and a member of United 2 Heal, said this was the second time the VCU chapter of United 2 Heal hosted a fundraising banquet and and art auction.
“We’ve never done anything this large before,” Escobar said. “We’ve done a smaller art auction last year and a few other small fundraiser buffets and dining events but not a banquet this size.”
In order to participate at the banquet and auction, guests had to pay an $8 admission fee. Guests were given a full dinner and a show presented by dancers from the Nepali Student Organizations, the Bangladesh Student Organization.
After the dinner and show was the art auction where guests bid for artwork made by VCU students and artists from Ghana and Bangladesh.
Jahanara Hoque, a junior illustration major, was one of the artists who donated art to United 2 Heal.
Hoque said she donated two pieces of art for the event because she wanted to help her native country of Bangladesh.
“I’ve always wanted to show that you can use art to make a difference,” Hoque said. “Some people think that you need to be a doctor, a lawyer or an engineer to make a difference in places like Bangladesh. I wanted to prove that even as an artist you can still use your skills and talent to help out.”
Escobar said the event made $1,024 from the admissions fees and more than $2,500 from the auction. As of press time, United 2 Heal have not determined exactly how much was made from the art auction.
“I thought the event was a great success,” Escobar said “We not only surpassed our expected sum but we also got the word out about our organization and our initiatives.”