Last year, Dartmouth China Care raised close to $1,000 for their umbrella organization — enough to fund a baby orphan’s spinal bifida surgery. It had taken them three terms of selling bubble tea in Novack late into weekend evenings.
So when the club was able to raise nearly the same amount of money — $850 to be exact — on Friday evening during a benefit dinner in Collis Common Ground, it surprised them.
“We’re pretty impressed that we were able to pull it off,” co-president Melissa An ’14 said. “We’re happy about the turnout. I’m still thinking about it.”
The club had spent Winter term gathering donations from local businesses for their raffle and asking performance groups to contribute their time. In the end, seven businesses contributed over $500 worth of merchandise, three groups participated in the show and guest speakers came from the national China Care Foundation.
China Care was founded in 2000 by 16-year-old Matt Dalio, who had travelled to China and worked with orphans with special needs, according to the China Care website. The foundation provides medical care in five zones in China and performs special surgeries at its “state of the art home” in Beijing, co-president Dan Wang ’14 said.
In the past, club members have travelled to China to volunteer in orphanages affiliated with the foundation, according to Wang. At the benefit dinner, members and foundation representatives spoke candidly about their personal experiences working with special-needs orphans, whose conditions included cleft-lip and lost limbs.
“We didn’t want the event to just be a capella, food and fun,” An said. “We wanted people to learn about the issue and what the organization does.”
For their last donation, the club had received a report with before-and-after photos of the child they had helped, along with a biography and post-surgery status. The reports “keep them accountable,” Wang said.
Dartmouth’s chapter of China Care was started in 2010 by Jingna Zhao ’12, after she visited Harvard’s chapter, which An and Wang said is “more established.”
“They throw a gala every year that can bring in tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Wang said. “We’re a relatively new organization, so it will be a long way for us to establish ourselves. It’s only been recent that we had the resources and manpower to hold a benefit dinner like the one we had on Friday.” `
Tags: benefit, China, China Care, Common Ground