Scrolling Headlines:

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 23, 2017

SGA president selects new vice president -

January 23, 2017

UMass women’s basketball blows 15 point fourth quarter lead, loses in double overtime to George Washington -

January 23, 2017

UMass club hockey falls to NYU 3-2 in first game back from vacation -

January 23, 2017

Cyr: Expectations for UMass men’s basketball remain consistent throughout 2016-17 season -

January 23, 2017

The death penalty is not the answer -

January 23, 2017

Donald Trump is gutting journalism with his Twitter -

January 23, 2017

Winter break’s most overlooked releases -

January 23, 2017

Hardly anything in ‘Rogue One’ scores a direct hit -

January 23, 2017

Nineteen turnovers sink UMass men’s basketball in loss to Fordham Saturday -

January 21, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls to Fordham behind strong defensive effort by the Rams -

January 21, 2017

UMass hockey can’t take advantage of strong start in 6-1 loss to Boston College -

January 21, 2017

High-powered Eagles soar past UMass -

January 21, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

Valley responds to Haiti devastation

feature2

(Courtesy MCT)

In the wake of tragedy, students at the University of Massachusetts have created an alliance called “UMass Haiti Relief” to raise and provide needed support for the country rocked by a magnitude-7 earthquake two weeks ago.

Led by the Haitian American Student Association, the coalition formed quickly and has worked over the past two weeks to raise funds through tabling in the Campus Center concourse and collecting monetary donations.

“As time progresses, people may begin to forget the issues in Haiti and how much help they really need,” said Haitian Student Association (HASA) president Leo Jean-Louis. “The disaster was of epic proportions and Haiti, an already struggling country, will need our help for a long time.”

Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince was devastated on Jan. 12. An estimated 150,000 people died as a result of the natural disaster and millions have been left without homes, food and water.

Participating student organizations included representatives from the National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities and sororities, members of the Program for Undergraduate Mentoring and Achievement and the Student Government Association.

These groups joined forces with the Residence Leadership Association, Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Campus Life Byron S. Bullock, Center for Student Development employees Lydia Washington, Lloyd Henley and Allen Brainerd and Auxiliary Services Senior Manager Doug Warka.

In addition, under Jean-Louis’ leadership, the relief alliance has expanded to include members from the Five College community. A “UMass Haiti Relief” Facebook event has over 1,400 members involved in planning upcoming events and fundraisers.

A benefit concert will be held on Thursday, Feb. 11, at the Fine Arts Center. The following day, students are encouraged to wear red or blue to show their support.

In addition, each college will be selling red and blue “Support Haiti” wristbands. A candle light vigil is still being planned. 

According to Jean-Louis, the relief effort has been a success.

“Students have been donating clothes, food and money to support the relief efforts on campus,” he said. “Bins [in Coolidge Hall] are overflowing with clothes as we speak.”

“It’s truly a blessing to see the support and generosity of the UMass Community as a whole,” he added

UMass has set up a bank account that any student group can donate their raised funds towards, said Jean Louis. This has ensured that the correct, secure procedures are taken, and that donation transactions go smoothly.

Pioneer Valley Red Cross                                                 

Within the Pioneer Valley, other organizations have been working diligently to provide necessary help to Haiti.

Paige Thayer of the Pioneer Valley Red Cross said that their Valley chapter has been working to raise funds to support American Red Cross International Response Fund and Haiti Relief Efforts. So far, the chapter has raised $170,000 from the Pioneer Valley community.

In addition to raising money, relief efforts of the Red Cross include “water distribution, first aid, medical assistance, provision of supplies, assistance with shelter and sheltering supplies, distribution of hygiene kits, blankets, water containers,” said Thayer.

The American Red Cross is now partnering with many large humanitarian organizations, she said. These groups include the global Red Cross community, local Haitian Red Cross, the Red Crescent Society and the United Nation’s World Food Program.

Due to the extent of the damage caused by the earthquake, and in addition to the help that Haiti previously needed, Thayer said that the Red Cross will most likely continue to help Haiti for years to come.

Thayer added those that wish to make immediate contributions could text HAITI to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Participants can be certain that their donations will be going to specifically the Haiti Relief program through donor intent.

“If someone designates their gift to Haiti relief, it will be directed to the Haiti Earthquake Relief efforts,” Thayer said.

Jessica Bonheur can be reached at jbonheur@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment