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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Haiti relief efforts continue, donations to Partners in Health matched through Sunday

Published: February 26, 2010
Section: News

The Brandeis community continued to raise money for Haiti this week with several events bringing it closer to the ultimate goal of $25,000 for the earthquake-struck nation with an additional incentive: Brandeis joins schools across the country in an initiative through Partners in Health (PIH) to match student donations raised before Sunday.

PIH has collaborated with the Entrepreneurs Foundation HelpHaiti Fund to begin the Students For Haiti Challenge. For one week, the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas will match money donated to Partners in Health by schools including Boston University, Harvard and nearly fifty other colleges and universities that have chosen to be included.

PIH is a health care provider with an eye towards social justice. Based in Boston, PIH has been operating in Haiti and other countries, including Rwanda and Peru, for more than twenty years. More than four thousand employees in Haiti provide a “preferential option to the poor,” working under a model intending to both treat patients and prevent diseases, believing that health is a right that should be available to everyone. Currently, their biggest need is monetary donations to send supplies and medical teams where they are greatly needed.

Partners in Health is one of three organizations that receives donations from the Brandeis Haiti Relief Fund. Money also goes to Hope for Haiti and ETE Camp, a children’s summer camp in Haiti started by Shaina Gilbert ’10.

Other fundraising efforts this week included a concert featuring Mike Posner, Big Sean and Tha Jist and Improvaganza: Haiti Benefit.

The concert, sponsored by Student Events with help from the Waltham Group, attracted 400 students, and gave about $800 in proceeds to the Brandeis Haiti Relief Fund, according to Student Events Outreach Coordinator Jonathan Kane ’10.

“We were pleased with the turnout,” Kane said. “Obviously we want to sell out every show, but our chief goal is to entertain students and we did that.” He added that although Student Events has nothing else currently planned for Haiti relief, the group is looking forward to helping other campus organizations, including the Waltham Group, plan more events and fundraisers.

Improvaganza and Chum’s Coffeehouse teamed up for a night of improv comedy on Thursday featuring The Floor is Lava and other groups. Improvaganza, a monthly comedy forum, is usually free, but when Chum’s Event Manager Alissa Cherry ’10 suggested a fundraiser to organizer Paul Gale ’12, he “gladly embraced it.”

“I’d do this stuff for free all day, so why not do it for charity?” Gale said.

The hosts asked that guests donate two dollars, but many donated more, raising a total sum of $117. All of the money will go to ETE CAMP, Partners in Health and Hope for Haiti Cherry said.

BHRE also receives money from club fundraisers each week, such as an Ice Skating Club event this week and English department reading of Haitian literature, said BHRE Heller School Coordinator Heather Lefebvre ’10. In addition, proceeds from Pachanga will be given to BHRE.

“Supporting the people of Haiti is extremely important at this time,” Gilbert said. “The entire nation, from its destroyed capital to its now overpopulated and under-resourced villages and provinces, needs a great deal of assistance.