Hamline News

January 22, 2010

Help for Haiti

The devastation and loss in Haiti might appear overwhelming, but the Hamline community is stepping up to assist how they can.

Sterile bandages, washcloths, soap, toothbrushes, and more have been donated and packed by the caring hands of students, staff, and faculty in the hope that these simple items may aid in preventing a public health disaster.

These “health kits” will be given to the United Methodist Committee on Relief for the first-phase of its disaster response. The non-profit aid organization was selected as Hamline’s partner in the donation effort because of the university’s affiliation with the United Methodist Church. This is just one way the Hamline community intends to lend assistance.

“There is so much need right now,” International Student Organization president Tapiwa Sigauke said. “I think it’s really important and crucial for the Hamline community to help the Haitian community for as long as it is needed.”

The Office of Service Learning and Volunteerism, the Wesley Center for Spirituality, Service, and Social Justice, the Office of Multicultural and International Student Affairs, and the International Student Organization are taking the lead in Hamline’s response. Current efforts also include the Change for Dollars campaign which provides donation jars around campus and aims to raise at least $1 for each of the 5,000 students at Hamline.

There will be opportunities for education, too. On February 9, a panel discussion entitled “Yes, Haiti” will bring together experts from the Hamline community to discuss Haitian history, give an overview of disaster relief, and a critique of media coverage.

Plans are also in the works for a large fundraiser in April. You can check the Office of Service Learning and Volunteerism’s webpage for details on these and future efforts which are currently in the planning stages. To help right now, click here to find out what items are need for the health kits, which can be dropped off at the Student Center through February 9.

Hear more from Tapiwa Sigauke and see the health kits being assembled here.