Kitchener-Waterloo

Kitchener's ApplyBoard raises cash to buy oxygen machines for hospitals in India

Kitchener company ApplyBoard is hoping to raise $250,000 to buy oxygen machines for hospitals in India. The country has seen a surge in cases in the past week and ApplyBoard co-founder Meti Basiri says many of their employees have a personal connection to India.

Many employees have close ties to India, company's co-founder says

Rohan Aggarwal, 26, a resident doctor treating patients suffering from COVID-19, looks at a patient's x-ray scan during his 27-hour shift at Holy Family Hospital in New Delhi, India, on May 1. Kitchener company ApplyBoard is raising funds to buy oxygen concentrators for hospitals in India. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)

Kitchener's ApplyBoard hopes to raise $250,000 to buy oxygen machines for hospitals in India.

The company, which connects international students with educational institutions for various programs, has started off the fundraising campaign with $100,000. 

ApplyBoard co-founder and chief marketing officer Meti Basiri said many of their employees have a personal connection to India. He said a third of staff members are from India and are either working there or in Canada.

"I think it goes to our heart when something that terrible happens," he said. "We have to step in and support it."

He said over the last four weeks, they've heard more stories about how the growing number of cases in India has impacted employees.

Last weekend, he said one staff member's father died after going to 18 hospitals in search of oxygen.

"We took the initiative immediately for our own internal staff to create an emergency fund ... I think anyone, if you can, you should put humanity first and no one should lose their life because of the money," Basiri said.

Basiri said the first shipment of machines left China Thursday morning. He said as they raise more money, more machines will be ordered.

David Tubbs, director of marketing for the company, said they haven't publicized the fundraising yet, but they've already received a lot of support from groups they work with around the globe.

"Some of our partners are very passionate about helping as much as they can," he said. "We're trying to make sure that we can do this as quickly as possible. And we're spending the money now that we have and hopefully we can do that next step."

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