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HOUGHTON, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Tech University students want to help other students who didn't qualify for federal financial help related to the coronavirus.

Michigan Tech set up the Husky Emergency Assistance Fund months ago. The graduate student government organization now is pledging to match up to $10,000 in donations from other students.

Students received $350 federal grants from the Upper Peninsula university, but some students might not need the money. Others, meanwhile, might not have qualified, especially if they're from outside the U.S.

“I and other students like me have not been impacted by COVID-19 as much as others, and we were in a situation where we could help our fellow students,” said Nathan Ford, president of graduate student government.

Ford wants to help students who didn't qualify for grants or others who still need financial assistance, the university said.

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USA :In Argentina, groups of university volunteers on the hunt for the coronavirus

“I couldn’t sit at home,” sums up Agostina Guerra, a 27-year-old dentist in charge of a team of volunteers from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) dedicated to looking for the coronavirus in pensions, nursing homes and among the forces of policeman.

“As dentists, we belong to the health system. We had to go out to help, do something. That was always my thought,” this petite young woman emphatically affirms, convinced that if there is a moment for volunteering “without a doubt this is it.”

In his team there are 20 graduates and dental students of the UBA who meet every morning in a school to organize the examination material and receive the address to which they will go that day. Sitting in the dining room, the atmosphere evokes the time when they were classmates.

With three buses equipped to carry out swabs, they move there where a case of covid-19 was registered and many more are suspected, especially the ‘conventillos’ in which several families live who share a kitchen and bathroom.

“We are here to prevent this from spreading, that it continues to advance and affects more people. The idea is that with our participation the contagion will reduce,” says Mauro Pachado, 30, when Argentina adds more than 250,000 infected and 4,700 deaths from covid -19 in a population of 44 million inhabitants.

At the door of a pension in the La Boca neighborhood, the neighbors began to line up. With some nervousness, one by one gets on the bus, also the children with their mothers, to get the swab done.

“It is not a toothache, it is not a cavity. It is something new even for us and that uncertainty generates fear. But luckily we have not had a negative response from the patients, they see this with good eyes,” explains Pachado.

– Confront the coronavirus –

When the first covid-19 infections occurred in March, the UBA launched a call for volunteering. In a few days 8,000 university students were registered.

Agostina Guerra’s team began helping in hotels where people with mild symptoms are isolated and then participated in a vaccination campaign against influenza and pneumonia.

Now they are engaged in swabs. With this they relieve the doctors, who can concentrate on caring for the sick, and “a little we give back to society everything we learned in college,” says Guerra.

So far only one of them has been infected with covid-19, but he was cured and returned to volunteering with a program to distribute dinners to homeless people.

“You have to go all covered and face it. We have shirts, chinstraps, masks. If we get scared, what is left for the others”, reflects Guerra.

However, he acknowledges that some colleagues who live with their families have refrained from participating this time.

– Tradition of social work –

The UBA is the main university in Argentina and is among the best in Latin America. Public, free and universal income, it has a long history of working with communities.

“There is a tradition, social work is instilled in us a lot. When we were students we offered free dental care in vulnerable neighborhoods and on trips to the interior,” says Guerra.

Wearing a smock that bears “UBA Pride,” Pachado says that volunteer work fills him with satisfaction. “It is a way of returning our public education to taxpayers, to society,” he says.

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