The .88 Campaign is turning Chinese-language social media into a network of support for Mass General’s COVID-19 response efforts.

Across New England, people are finding creative ways to inspire giving to Massachusetts General Hospital’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund, which provides critical funds to help patients and advance research to end the crisis. A swim team is raising money with a dry-land training challenge; a high school student is offering free tutoring in exchange for gifts to the fund. One of the most successful and heartfelt efforts is the “.88” Campaign currently taking place on Chinese-language social media groups.

.88 Campaign Gains Early Momentum

An outpouring of support began with a straightforward message that was shared and re-shared in group chats. Translated from Chinese, the message reads: The pandemic has reached Boston, Massachusetts. Donations are needed to help Mass General and other hospitals provide protective equipment for doctors and nurses. If you want the recipient to know that the donor is of Chinese descent, end the gift with .88.

“Mass General is the best hospital in Boston, I trust them to make good use of my donation.”

“We are especially honored by donations ending in .88 that symbolize luck and inspire hope during this difficult time. To date, more than 200 donors have given upward of $30,000, and these funds have been put to immediate use,” says Brit Nicholson, MD, senior vice president of development at Mass General.

The number 8 is considered the luckiest number in Chinese culture. Every gift that ends in .88 sends a double wish for good luck to the health care teams working day and night to care for patients.

“I want to help. To fight this virus, we need our doctors and nurses — everyone caring for patients — to be healthy and feel safe all the time. Mass General is the best hospital in Boston, I trust them to make good use of my donation,” said a Chinese-American mom from Wellesley.

Joining Together

The .88 Campaign continues to bring in new gifts and messages of support. For many donors, this is their first time giving to Mass General. The campaign has also inspired donations of critical equipment and supplies, as well as larger gifts from longtime supporters. .88 Campaign donors come from the greater Boston area, 11 states and beyond, and news of the effort continues to spread.

One .88 donor wrote that she has many friends who did their residency at Mass General and returned to China where they are doctors and nurses. “They began to fight COVID-19 ahead of us and have been sharing their experience with me. I want Mass General to have everything they need to fight this virus. Good Luck, you are our heroes!”

To join the .88 Campaign, please make a donation of any size that ends in .88 to Mass General’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.