As pictures of the devastation from the tsunami poured in, aid money poured out. The images that were shown world-wide tugged at the heartstrings of everyone from celebrities to college students.
Millions of dollars have been donated from everyone corner of the globe. Small villages of a few thousand people were completely destroyed by the wave and those people that did survive, are now struggling to re-build and go on without their loved ones.
The survivors lack necessities such as clean water, food, housingand medicine. After the initial shock of the natural event, the concern was to prevent diseases from spreading.
Cabrini made it’s own effort to lend a helping hand to those whose lives changed forever on Dec. 26, 2004.
On Tuesday, Feb. 1, Cabrini held a Tsunami Response Day in order to raise money and awareness for those hit hardest by the tsunami.
The idea of having an event to help raise money for the victims was first sent out through an e-mail by Dr. Mary Laver, the director of applied social teaching, over winter break. Laver soon received responses from many interested students willing to give their time to make the day a success. The students worked on four different levels: education, reflection, fund-raising, and advocacy.
The day began at 10 a.m. with a bake sale, poster presentations on some areas hit by the tsunami and the selling of wrist-bands to show support and unity. The students that planned the event partnered with Catholic Relief Services in order to make the day a success.
Sophomore Kellie Belmonte decided to get involved after receiving the e-mail from Laver, “My main goal was that I wanted to try to get all of Cabrini involved in some way. When people come together in times of tragedy, it can produce some pretty awesome results,” Belmonte said.
Catholic Relief Services alone has donated $25 million to the countries of India and Sri Lanka. Laver felt that the organization was perfect for Cabrini to partner with, “Catholic Relief Services has been working in these countries for over 50 years, so they’re in a great position to be directing some of the relief and reconstruction efforts,” Laver said.
Student Lisa DiMond also played a key roll in planning the Response Day. DiMond coordinated the advertising the event, ” I feel privileged for all that I have been given in life, and I wanted to do something to help those who have lost so much,” DiMond said.
Some fear that the huge response and out pouring of support will quickly wear off and that the rest of the world will go on with business as usual. Those that worked on the Tsunami Response Day hope that never happens. Sophomore Kristin Sanchez said, “I think it has already worn off somewhat. People forget about these things pretty quickly, so it is important to do this event now and later.”
Belmonte hopes to continue the effort to raise money and awareness throughout the rest of the semester, “We are going to continue doing things throughout the semester and hopefully even into the years to follow to continue to raise money and contribute,” Belmonte said.
Laver agrees that the world should be continuously involved with the effort, “As people of faith in a land with many blessings we owe it to ourselves and the world to be in long-term solidarity with people around the world…for the long haul, not just for the life-span of headlines.”
Posted to the web by Ryan Norris