Cabrini reached out to Katrina victims

By Elizabeth Brachelli
September 30, 2005

Is it possible to imagine five million homes without power and hundreds of thousand of people without jobs or homes, let alone imagine the possibility of people not able to find their loved ones? Although it’s hard to imagine, it’s sadly a reality.

Hurricane Katrina, unlike any other U.S. natural disaster, has Cabrini students reaching out in every way possible to help the victims of Katrina. As I try to look back and comprehend the devastation Hurricane Katrina caused, it’s good to see Cabrini’s heart at work.

The Cabrini community should be applauded for the outstanding efforts in helping the Katrina victims while Katrina earns the title as being the most destructive and costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. While predicted costs of Katrina’s destruction reach $100 billion, Cabrini is beginning a year long two-sided campaign with both cash donations and supplies for the victims.

In Cabrini’s efforts for the victims, phase one of their two-sided campaign has begun. The first part of the Katrina campaign is focused on raising funds, and it’s not just students pulling money out of their pockets. Every organization is active in the campaign by raising money through different events. Some of the events are car washes, dances and a weekly collection of donations in Jazzman’s Cafe as well as in the Wolfington Center.

Recently, the 4th annual caring citizens’ volunteer fair was held in Jazzman’s Cafe to help launch Cabrini’s response to Katrina. Monetary donations were collected from students, faculty and staff.

In addition, upcoming events to raise money for the Katrina victims include a raffle to win a hockey puck autographed by Flyer Peter Forsberg. The puck was generously donated by 2005 Cabrini graduate Bill Leahy.

Also included, on Saturday, Oct. 15, a dance to benefit those affected by Hurricane Katrina will be held in Grace Hall. After the fund-raising is complete, the funds will be split. Half of the funds will go to aid the families of the Cabrini High School community in New Orleans and the rest of the donations will go to Catholic Charities USA for use in their efforts.

The second phase of the campaign will focus on collecting supplies for Katrina victims.

In this time of tragedy, Cabrini should also be commended for answering in prayer to the victims. As the aftermath worsened, a prayer vigil was held for the victims as well as a liturgy by Father Michael Bielecki in the Bruckmann Chapel.

Although it’s difficult to imagine the devastation of Katrina and to face the reality of it, Cabrini’s students, faculty and staff have extended their outreach and are dealing with the reality of the recovery efforts with compassion.

As I look at the aftermath of Katrina, I could never imagine myself in the position the people of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama are in. However I’m sure if I was a victim of Katrina, I would only thank the Cabrini community.

The Cabrini community has taken the seriousness of the situation and has come together quickly. In response to Hurricane Katrina, Cabrini’s heart is hard at work and for Katrina’s victims it’s a blessing it will be throughout the year.

Posted to the web by Tim Hague

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Elizabeth Brachelli

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