Gujarati Cultural Society donates $7,000 to support international students

Local business owners looking out for international students

Gujarati Cultural Society donates $7,000 to support international students

Watching the local news, a story about international students at Midwestern State University caught the attention of Praful Patel.

It did more than pique his interest. Wanting to help the students affected by the effects of COVID-19, Patel contacted his fellow members of Texoma’s Gujarati Cultural Society Inc., a group of 82 members whose mission is to maintain the culture of Gujarat, a state in India.

After contacting the Global Education Office at MSU Texas to learn how they could help, he and the group moved fast and presented a $7,000 check to the COVID-19 Student Emergency Fund on Monday.

“We needed to do something,” Gujarati Culture Society member Uftam Tilala said. “This is something to help those students get going. They had nowhere to go.”

“Community matters to us, and we could do nothing without our community and how they support us,” Bhagwanbhai Desai said. “All our members wanted to help.”

Desai said a group of 38 Wichita Falls members came together for this donation to give international students a helping hand. Dr. Michael Mills, Global Education Director at MSU Texas, said international students make up approximately 10% of the student population at MSU.

“Our global scholars are an important part of the identity of MSU Texas, and they have been hit hard during the COVID-19 crisis. This generous donation from the Gujarati Cultural Society is going to help so much,” Mills told TGCSI members Monday.

Giving those in need a boost is something Steve Shipp has seen the MSU Texas and Wichita Falls communities embrace in 2020. “This very generous gift from this group of local businessmen will give many of our students the assistance they need due to problems they’ve incurred with COVID-19,” Shipp, Director of University Development, added. He also noted that the gift from the society will be matched through the University’s Laing-Guinn Matching Gift Challenge. The challenge matches dollar-for-dollar up to $40,000 for any first-time donors.

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