Disaster Hits Haiti

By Jen Wozniak
January 28, 2010

Shannon Keough

Since the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on Jan. 12, Cabrini students have joined together and raised over $350 to support relief efforts for a country that is in much need of aid.

On Jan. 13, less than 24 hours after hearing about the quake, Catholic Relief Services ambassadors and representatives and members of Peer Ministry called an urgent meeting with sophomore Haitian-American Quiana Volney. The group brainstormed ways that Cabrini could show its support for a disaster that has left buildings in rubble and thousands of people injured or dead in the streets of Haiti.

“I felt it was important to help Haiti because it’s where both of my parents are from, so therefore it’s a part of me,” Volney, business administration major, said. “I really appreciate how quickly our campus has gotten involved; it is greatly appreciated.”

The most immediate response was a table for donations at the women’s and men’s basketball games held at Cabrini on Thursday, Jan. 14. The track team, of which Volney is a member, helped collect the donations with members of CRS. Blue and red ribbons representing the Haitian flag were assembled and handed out to donators as well as fact sheets about Haiti and the earthquake.

The Cabrini cheerleading team also wanted to support the cause. A bake sale was organized by team captains Mandee Bowes, Alicia Reid, Courtney Hathaway and Stephanie Juris and held at the Cabrini men’s basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 16.

SOURCE: Jen Wozniak/Managing Editor

JW729@CABRINI.EDU

$357.74 was collected so far at the games and was given to Catholic Relief Services to aid with Haiti relief.

“CRS has been helping Haiti tremendously and for that I am thankful,” Volney said.

In addition to raising money, a prayer service for the victims and their family members was held at the Bruckmann Memorial Chapel on Monday, Jan. 25. Students and faculty prayed for those affected by this disaster and for continued help in rebuilding the nation.

Taking a different approach, Masha Kozlovskaya, senior psychology, sociology and history major, created a group on Facebook called “Support Relief Effort in Haiti.”

The group description states, “It is truly amazing to witness such an outpour of kindness and support for the Haitian people, but this event is created in order to remind us that this critical period is only the beginning of the relief efforts of the devastation in Port-au-Prince. Even after the media coverage dies down, the victims of the earthquake will be struggling to piece their lives back together without their homes and loved ones. Please do not forget about these people and continue to keep this catastrophe in your heart and help in anyway possible.”

“The reason for making the group was to remind people that just because media coverage has died down, Haiti did not magically rebuild itself. I hope that seeing a little ‘Support Haiti Relief’ notice [on Facebook] will remind people of that,” Kozlovskaya said.

Cabrini hopes to continue awareness, prayers and support for Haiti as it struggles to move forward from this natural disaster. On Feb. 1, Cabrini’s radio station, 89.1 WYBF-FM “The Burn,” will be hosting “Streaming Hope for Haiti,” a 24-hour broadcast from locations around campus to raise money for Haiti. Listeners can call 610-902-8487 to donate money, which will be given to CRS. The night will conclude with a dance in Grace Hall from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m.

There are also plans to make t-shirts which will be sold to raise money and awareness.

“I do not think it is possible to imagine the devastation that the victims of this disaster are experiencing; so many people have lost their homes and more importantly their loved ones in a situation that is completely out of their control. It is not just a kind gesture to provide aid. I strongly believe that to those that are able it is a responsibility to do so,” Kozlovskaya said.

Volney said, “Haiti may be a poor country but there are also good things about the country as well. The people are warm and resilient and never lose hope in the face of adversity. Prayer for guidance and direction for how to rebuild Haiti is imperative.”

For more information on how to help Haiti, contact Quiana Volney, leader of “Cabrini Cares About Haiti,” at qcv23@cabrini.edu.

Jen Wozniak

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