Ren Foundation raises money for China trip: Founders organize concert with proceeds being given directly to Chinese schools

Tessa Peierls, Assistant News Editor

How can you help people in need from over 7,000 miles away?  Seniors Henry Lin and Dylan Rothman have made it their mission to provide the student body with an opportunity to do so for their senior experience project.

Lin and Rothman founded the Ren Foundation, a not for profit corporation dedicated to raising money for impoverished students in rural China.  Lin moved from China to the U.S. three years ago.  He was involved in charity work in China and has many connections to schools that are in need of financial help.

“My dream is to go back to China and use my knowledge to support and improve the lives of my people,” says Lin.

So far, the foundation has raised money mainly by accepting donations, but they are expecting a majority of their fundraising to take place at a concert they have scheduled in the Schreiber auditorium on June 4 at 7 p.m.  Admission for the concert is $5, but attendees are welcome to donate more.  All proceeds from the concert will go directly to the Ren Foundation.  There will also be a school and office supply drive at the concert.

“We want to make a direct change in the lives of impoverished people without going through any outside organization,” said Rothman.  “We encourage as many students as possible to come so they can support a great cause and enjoy live music.”

The foundation is organizing a charity dinner and a partnership with the Rotary Club, and there are several other fundraising activities that are currently in the works.

In addition to the concert, the Ren Foundation is planning a three-week trip to China from July 1 to 22.  For the first week of the trip, students will stay in a rural village in the Guizhou province living with host families.  They will attend the schools in the morning to teach English, play with the students, and install school supplies, most notably projectors.

Moreover, they will help the local families with their everyday activities, such as farming and gathering wood.

“What makes this trip special is the ability to meet and interact with people in rural areas, which students have most likely never experienced before,” said Rothman.

After one full week of experiencing the culture and helping underdeveloped parts of China, those taking the trip will tour China for two weeks and enjoy everything that the country has to offer.  This includes visiting major Chinese cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Nanjing; and seeing various tourist attractions, such as Tiananmen Square, the Great Wall of China, and the Terracotta Warriors.  At the end of the week, Lin will personally deliver the proceeds to the school.

If students desire to participate in this experience, they can contact the two seniors through Facebook by searching the Ren Foundation Inc. or emailing them at [email protected]

Lin and Rothman both plan to continue fundraising and organizing trips after they graduate.

“Henry and I will establish separate chapters of the organizations at our colleges and work with students there to start new endeavors to raise money,” said Rothman.

Lin believes that in order to make a difference in the world, it is important to raise awareness to the people around you.

“I’ve always believed that in order for people to improve the world and make a positive change, they need to be aware of the problems in the world,” said Lin.  “Many kids here in the U.S. just simply aren’t aware that many people are still suffering.”