College community raises relief aid for Haiti

Tyler Stauffer photo: A Chinese Auction is set up in Egan Dining Hall during Haiti Relief Week. Students can purchase "Relieve-Recover-Rebuild" bracelets at the table as well.Tyler Stauffer photo: A Chinese Auction is set up in Egan Dining Hall during Haiti Relief Week. Students can purchase Relieve-Recover-Rebuild bracelets at the table as well.
Mercyhurst College is hosting Haiti Relief Week Monday, Feb. 1, through Friday, Feb. 5, to raise money for the country devastated by an earthquake on Jan. 12.

Everyone from administrators to student clubs and athletic teams will participate in the campus-wide fundraising effort, which will include all on-campus events this week and continue throughout the rest of the term.

“The whole disaster was devastating and horrible,” sophomore Elizabeth Geist said. “I’m really happy that people in the United States are getting together to do something about it, especially at Mercyhurst where everyone is pulling together to make a difference.”

The list of events is extensive. Academic departments will compete to collect the most donations. UNICEF will host a Chinese Auction at Egan Dining Hall Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Green Team will sell “Haiti Relief” T-shirts, and red “Relieve-Recover-Rebuild” Bracelets will be sold in various locations on campus, including Campus Ministry, for a minimum donation of $2.

Special collections will be taken at athletic, LCP, PAC and SAC events.

Proceeds from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Chili Bowl Cook-off, which will take place in the Herrmann Student Union on Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., will go toward the Haiti Relief Fund.

Campus Ministry will also host door-to-door collections Thursday and Friday.

The fundraising goal is to raise $2,500 to donate to UNICEF and Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health, an established health care charity in Haiti.

Campus Ministry Director Gregory Baker said, “We wanted to consolidate relief efforts into this week as much as possible, but it is also worth noting that future events will continue to benefit Haiti, including collections at dance programs, a Soul Food Dinner, a proposed spring golf tournament and a Lenten 24-hour fast.”

Mercyhurst Student Government will match student club and organizations’ donations, and UNICEF offers a national matching opportunity for the money that Mercyhurst collects.

“One of the most exciting things about the week is that the money collected will be doubled or quadrupled before being sent to Haiti,” Baker said.

“I think it’s great how Mercyhurst is helping out the cause,” freshman Anne Valkosky said.

Baker said this fundraising event demonstrates the college’s commitment to its mission statement and core values in educating socially and globally responsible adults.

“As a Catholic and as someone who is passionate about working for peace and justice, I have been prayerfully and actively concerned about the people of Haiti for a long time,” Baker said. “I am glad to see the world community responding to this tragedy. But I pray for a world where people spend more time asking the tough social justice questions about countries like Haiti even when there are no natural disasters to get people’s hearts stirring.”

For the most up-to-date list of Haiti Relief Week events, visit