Wilco falls in love with UIC student group’s world projects

Engineering World Health

UIC’s student chapter of Engineering World Health will use proceeds from the Wilco sales to build medical devices for a Vietnamese children’s hospital.

The Chicago-based alternative band Wilco will donate a percentage of proceeds from online merchandise sales Dec. 4 to UIC’s student chapter of Engineering World Health.

The UIC group will use the donations for several projects to improve health care in developing countries.

“This is the biggest fundraiser we’ve ever done, so everyone in the group is really excited about this,” said Ryan Orda, the group’s president, a senior in bioengineering and “a huge Wilco fan.”

The UIC student group is part of the band’s “20 Days of Wilco,” which donates 20 percent of merchandise sales to a different charity every day for 20 days.

Engineering World Health will use the proceeds to send two members to a Vietnamese children’s hospital this summer and to design and build four medical devices.

“There’s a big need for a lot of essential medical equipment,” Orda said. “Most of these countries don’t even have something as simple as a defibrillator.”

The group has 41 members, including students in bioengineering, mechanical and electrical engineering, and others are welcome.

This year’s projects include a laminar flow hood, negative pressure wound therapy vacuum device, autoclave sterilizer and bike-powered generator.

The devices are made of “simple materials,” Orda said.

“We have to consider that when the projects are taken to these countries, people are not going to have a Home Depot to get supplies.”

For information on the UIC student chapter of Engineering World Health, email Orda at rorda2@uic.edu 

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