Longhorns Helping in the Fight Against COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to impact our day-to-day lives like never before, many have found themselves in need of support from their communities. Whether it’s in Austin or on the other side of the world, here are a few ways Longhorns have stepped up to help.

Sam Ehlinger, Texas Football’s starting quarterback, launched a GoFundMe campaign to help with relief efforts both nationally and locally. He hopes to raise $1,000,000 in total, and mentions the Boys & Girls Club of America, the Central Texas Food Bank, and Austin Pets Alive as organizations he plans to assist. You can donate to his GoFundMe here.


UT Football head coach Tom Herman, MED ’00, Life Member, donated $10,000 to the Central Texas Food Bank a few weeks ago as part of a larger effort to support food banks during the pandemic. He sent Texas football’s director of player development Kevin Washington to deliver the gift.


To help shoppers know when items are back in stock at big local chain stores like Target and CVS, UT computer science students Rithwik Pattikonda and Darshan Bhatta launched Instok.org, a website designed to check store’s online inventories and tell users where they can find the items they need.


Trey Williams, BA ’93, Life Member, is working with Hays CISD on HaysHope2Go, a project that aims to alleviate hunger among students and employees in need of food while schools are closed. You can donate here.



Garrison Brothers Distillery, founded by Dan Garrison, BS ’89, Life Member, and Siete Family Foods—co-founded by siblings Miguel Garza, BBA ’09, JD ’12, and Veronica Garza, BA ’03— teamed up with Ponder Foods and Panache Development and Construction to deliver hand sanitizer to Dell Med.


Local Austin liquor maker Tito’s Homemade Vodka—founded by Tito Beveridge, BS ’84, Life Member—is working with Austin to distribute its first batch of hand sanitizer, 24 tons in total. Tito’s intends for the batch to be distributed in bulk to police officers, firefighters, medics, hospitals and other medical staff, along with managed care facilities, including nursing homes.


Desert Door Texas Sotol, a distilled spirit company founded by UT alumni Ryan Campbell, BA ’01; Judson Kauffman, MBA ’18; and Brent Looby, BS ’93, MBA ’17, Life Member, has shifted its efforts to making hand sanitizer amid the COVID-19 shortage and recently donated 70 bottles of hand sanitizer to the UT Police Department. Read more about their plans to help and donate to their cause here.


As all in-person classes and lab sessions have been cancelled for the semester, UT’s chemistry department decided to donate its supply of unused personal protective equipment (PPE) to local hospitals and first responders in the area. As of March 24, the department had donated 23 cases of gloves, 24 boxes of face masks, seven cases of scrub pants and four cases of booties.


The Cockrell School of Engineering’s innovation center, Texas Inventionworks, teamed up with UT’s Dell Medical School to produce 3D-printed masks for healthcare workers in need. The masks, made from a nylon material, are intended to have a replaceable filter and be reusable. Researchers at Cockrell are also building a new type of ventilator made of cheap, widely available materials to help fill the demand using windshield wiper parts.


In late March, the White House enlisted UT’s Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC)’s Frontera supercomputer in in the fight against COVID-19. The supercomputer has already made a difference, having helped researchers develop a 200-million-atom computer model of the coronavirus that is expected to provide insight into how the virus infects in the body.


To help children maintain a sense of routine, connection, and joy, the UT Child Development Center (UTCDC) has been hosting nightly bedtime story readings via Facebook Live on the Center’s private Facebook page. The program is part of a larger effort the UTCDC is making to stay connected with children and their families while the Center is temporarily closed.


UT researchers have been hard at work fighting COVID-19, some staying on campus to work on a potential vaccine. So far, their efforts have led to the potential vaccine being tested on people in Seattle.


No comments

Be the first one to leave a comment.

Post a Comment