The Scarlet & Black

The Independent Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Feven Getachew
Feven Getachew
May 6, 2024
Michael Lozada
Michael Lozada
May 6, 2024
Nathan Hoffman
Nathan Hoffman
May 6, 2024
Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
May 6, 2024

Fundraising for Haiti begins

by Katherine Chung
Following the College’s stated commitment to social justice, Grinnell’s students, faculty and staff began the spring semester by launching a series of fundraising efforts and educational events in response to the Haiti earthquake.
The magnitude 7.0 earthquake, that struck near Haiti’s capital, Port-au-prince, on January 12, 2010 has killed an estimated 150,000 and injured 194,000, over a third of the population,according to CNN. As the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, Haiti largely depends on the outside aid for recover from the disaster.
“As a community, the students really felt that it was time to try to respond as a Grinnell community to this tragedy,” said Deanna Shorb, the Dean of Religious Life.
Fundraisers placed nine donation bins around campus to collect change from passers by, as well as an online donation page for those who want to donate more than spare quarters and dollars.
A benefit concert will be held tonight in Herrick Chapel to gather the Grinnell community and further raise money for Haiti. Student groups such as Con Brio, Latin American Ensemble, a jazz trio called Phoenix Trio, Young Gifted and Black Chior, G-Tones and Grinnell Singers will perform. The concert will begin at 8:00 p.m. and the suggested donation is $10.
As of Thursday, 22 people have donated roughly $1,300 online on behalf of Grinnell for a total of about $1,300. Jonathan Richardson ’10, one of the student organizers behind the fundraisers, expects that most of the donations to come from tonight’s benefit concert.
“Hopefully [the donations] will get around the $5,000 mark, and I would be very pleased with that,” Richardson said. “But I would also love $100,000. Anywhere between those two would be good.”
The proceeds will be split between Partners in Health and Stop Hunger Now, organizations that are distributing medical assistance or food to Haiti, 50 percent of the revenue that goes to direct relief.
SGA President Harry Krejsa ’10, Ethan Struby ’10 and Richardson started planning college-wide fundraising efforts days before the spring semester.
“It took the support of Elena Bernal, Deanna Shorb, David Harrison and Sarah Purcell [who] helped us from an administrative standpoint, from an institutional place to make sure we have the support that we needed,” Richardson said.
Because of Haiti’s urgent need for food, water and medical care at this stage of recooperation, the organizers behind the weeks’ events assent that financial support is the best way to alleviate the tragedy.
“This first week is primarily about raising money and about responding to the crisis,” said Richardson. “This is just one step of what’s going to be a long term kind of awareness raising program around Haiti.”
Fundraisers want the college community to understand Haiti as more than a disaster area. “The Agronomist” by Jonathan Demme, a documentary of Haiti’s past through the experience of Haitian journalist Jean Dominique, was shown on Thursday in Forum South Lounge.
David Harrison, associate professor of French and director of the Center for International Studies, wanted to address the larger issues surrounding Haiti and came up with the idea to hold a panel discussion.
The panel discussion will examine Haiti from various academic perspectives, with the expertise of faculty members Eric Carter [Anthropology], Jan Gross [French], Irene Powell [Economics], Sarah Purcell [History] and Eliza Willis [Political Science] and will take place next Tuesday in JRC 101 at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s important when something like this dominates the news, for us to try to understand what’s behind Haiti’s economic and political situation,” Harrison said. “We have a number of people on campus, faculty, students and staff who could provide a broader context and allow the campus to understand Haiti as not just the site of this disaster.”
Shorb wants to co-lead a service trip to the country, similar to ReNew, before the end of the year in order to aid Haiti in its recovery.
“We will try to listen to what we’re being told as an international community what the needs of Haiti are and see how we can respond,” Shorb said. “The idea was to get the word out as much as possible and invite others to bring their creativity and their interest and their skills and their knowledge into a collaborative Grinnell community effort.”
Students interested in future Haitian relief efforts can contact the Center for Religion, Spirituality and Social Justice for more information.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *