The earthquake that devastated towns and cities throughout Haiti last Tuesday has resulted in a humanitarian crisis of unthinkable magnitude. Millions of people are currently living without access to food, water, shelter, or emergency medical attention, while continuing aftershocks increase the widespread suffering. In the face of this catastrophe, we have witnessed an incredible international response, in the form of substantial monetary donations, food and water relief, rescue workers, and medical personnel.
Already, the Carleton community has joined in this international effort to secure emergency aid for Haiti. One student group called the International Relations Council, has already raised over $1000 for the health care organization Partners in Health. Last week, two students tabled in Sayles, hoping to raise both awareness and funds, and were able to collect nearly $300 in three hours. Still other student groups and college offices are currently planning other creative fundraising events, such as T-shirt sales, meal donations, and Friday Flower donations.
In addition to these on-campus efforts, faculty, staff, and students from Carleton and St. Olaf are collaborating with Northfield residents to unite these three communities in their common goal of bringing relief to Haiti. Currently, this coalition of colleges and local leaders is putting together a panel of individuals who have diverse and extensive experiences in Haiti to come speak at both Carleton and St. Olaf. The Carleton panel will be held on Wednesday, January 27th in Boliou 104 from 5-6pm and will focus on current needs in Haiti while also providing a historical context for the challenges presently facing the nation.
And finally, in an effort to promote mutual awareness among these numerous campus and community-based initiatives, a small group of student leaders recently joined together to form Haiti Relief Carleton. This group now has more than 50 members, including student representatives from the ACT Center, the Chaplain’s Office, OIIL, CSA, IRC, BSA, Pangea, Res Life, WHOA, and AMSA. Through the partnerships that these students forge amongst themselves, Oles and Northfielders alike, Haiti Relief Carleton represents a promising step towards unifying our communities as we all work to bring help and hope to the people of Haiti.