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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis joins Haitian relief

Published: February 5, 2010
Section: News

Brandeis students have joined the relief effort to assist in rebuilding Haiti after the destruction caused by last month’s earthquake, which affected more than three million people. The earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12 killed more than 200,000 people and left many more homeless and in urgent need of medical care.

Brandeis Haiti Relief Effort (BHRE), the official organizations students have set up will divide contributions among three organizations: Partners for Health, Empowering Through Education (ETE) Camp and Hope for Haiti. The main goal besides raising money is to “bring awareness of not only the poverty in Haiti, but of its culture too,” Nathaniel Rosenblum ’10 said.

Partners for Health will help provide long term health care and Hope for Haiti will assist in funding a recovery project to continue assisting those affected by the earthquake in the coming months.

Shaina Gilbert ‘10, a native from Haiti, helped launch ETE camp this past summer and the funds raised through BHRE will make it possible for the camp to grow by admitting more students than last year.

The students have established a steering committee that oversees a set of smaller subcommittees to focus on either fundraising or educational efforts within the community. Both the Brandeis students and staff have been working together to bring awareness about the situation and help to those in Haiti who have suffered.

One committee is designed to oversee events that take place here. One event specified for raising money is the Black Tie Affair, to take place on May 1.

“It is a good way to publicize Haitian culture through food and dance, while also fundraising,” said JV Souffrant ’13, chair of the Black Tie Affair committee. This event is geared more towards faculty, staff, and alumni of the community rather than students, yet all will be invited to attend Students are planning to hold a silent auction in coordination with the Black Tie Affair. BHRE is currently planning the event and more details will be announced soon.

Bowling for Haiti and benefit concerts are also lined up. Souffrant is also planning on incorporating the campus’ underground Greek life into fundraising efforts.

Staff and students alike are working together to help bring relief to Haiti. As Rosenblum said, “The people in Haiti need our help and their need will only increase as the cameras begin to leave and rebuilding begins.” Rosenblum did volunteer work in Haiti over winter break and returned just three days prior to the earthquake. Along with Shaina Gilbert, he has helped coordinate all the efforts of BHRE.

All checks for BHRE can be made out to Brandeis University and addressed to:

Brandeis University

Mr. Lucas Malo

Department of Community Service, MS 203

415 South St.

Waltham, MA 02453