This is a real life lesson in supply and demand.

Earlier this month, Jocelyn Evans, associate dean and finance professor for the College of Charleston School of Business, and accounting major Jordan Sirota decided to buy and deliver food to area hospital workers who are fighting on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Evans decided on this project after speaking with several nurses who told her that many healthcare professionals are working 12-hour shifts – or longer – and often don’t have time to eat.

While delivering the food, Evans and Sirota quickly discovered that food wasn’t the only thing in short supply. They were told that there was also a desperate need for more medical masks and other items.

Demand was greater than supply.

Evans and Sirota quickly decided on a plan to fill that demand.

“We immediately divided and conquered,” says Evans.

She told MBA student Marcus Chesnutt about her visits to Roper St. Francis Hospital in Mount Pleasant and the Medical University of South Carolina Hospital in downtown Charleston and the demands of the healthcare workers there. Chesnutt wanted to help, too. He immediately enlisted the support of his MBA cohort and launched a GoFundMe campaign with all of the proceeds directed to the Low Country Health Care System, a nonprofit that distributes funding to the state’s most in-need medical facilities.

“The fundraiser has been met with enthusiasm,” says Chesnutt. “Members of the CofC MBA program have stepped up and shown their support through donations and spreading the word on social media.”

While Chesnutt was launching the website, Evans and Sirota created a social media LinkedIn campaign to encourage former School of Business and Microfinance Club alumni to donate to the cause.

This coordinated effort by Evans, Sirota and Chesnutt raised more than $2,000 in the first four days of the drive.

While those fundraising efforts were taking place, MBA student Hunter Morris decided to tackle the issue of food insecurity in the Lowcountry. Morris and a group of fellow MBA students launched an online fundraiser for the Lowcountry Food Bank. Morris hopes the money raised will help to ease the demands on the food bank, which has recorded a 300 percent increase in food needs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The students hope to raise more than $5,000 for healthcare supplies and $3,000 for the food bank.

Featured image: Students from the Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine organize donated items. (Photo by Sarah Pack/MUSC)