University of Michigan sorority chapter Chi Omega held a virtual fundraiser titled “UMich COVID-19 Meal Collection Fundraiser Challenge” from April 29 to May 1 via Instagram. The donations were used to order meals from local Ann Arbor restaurants, who delivered the meals to Michigan Medicine. In total, the challenge raised around $1,500, resulting in 170 meals donated to essential workers at Michigan Medicine.
As part of the fundraiser, donors were required to post a picture of their favorite meal at an Ann Arbor restaurant on their Instagram Stories, donate money to the cause through Venmo and tag three friends to do the same.
Information junior Orli Forster organized the fundraiser after being inspired by her aunt who raised around $15,000 to fund meals at hospitals in Maryland.
“(The sorority) was enthusiastic and passionate about giving back to the local Ann Arbor community,” Forster said. “This fundraiser was a really great solution because it not only supported our favorite local restaurants and businesses but also supported the hospital workers at the same time. It was a win-win for everyone.”
Patricia Morin, director of gift finance and handling at the Michigan Medicine Office of Development, worked with Medical School student volunteers to manage the food donations and get them delivered to the hospital.
“(The donations) were so appreciated,” Morin said. “(Doctors and nurses) took what they got, and they were very happy because they didn’t have to worry about bringing food to the hospital.”
The meals donated to the hospital were bought from local restaurants like Amer’s Delicatessen, Silvio’s Organic Ristorante e Pizzeria, Frita Batidos, Slurping Turtle, Cafe Zola and Tomukun.
Silvio Medoro, owner of Silvio’s Organic Ristorante e Pizzeria, and employee Ted Ward worked with Forster to get the meals to the frontline workers at Michigan Medicine.
“Silvio really has a heart for helping the people at the hospitals,” Ward said. “We’ve been posting pictures of Silvio making the food and the nurses and everybody smiling. We let the people who follow the restaurant know that we’re out there doing these things for the community. Everybody feels that the local restaurants should be helping out the local people.”
Daily Staff Reporter Navya Gupta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.