In the wake of the Haiti disaster, the Laurier Brantford community has responded to calls for aid by contributing to various fundraisers on campus.
Laurier for Haiti, a fundraiser for the Red Cross run through campus bookstores, started in Waterloo on January 13th, one day after the earthquake hit Haiti. When the opportunity came for Laurier Brantford to participate, Jen Brickman, the bookstore supervisor, was more than happy to start fundraising here.
Having been to Haiti three times before, Brickman feels a connection to the small country.
“I want to help,” she said. “Haiti is close to my heart.”
Brickman volunteers at an orphanage within Hopital Bon Samaritan (HBS) located in Limbe, a city in the northern part of the country. According to her, the hospital and orphanage were not directly affected by the earthquake but have seen an influx of patients from the south where most of the devastation occurred.
“They felt the ground move but they’re okay. They’re getting a lot of patients from the south so they are busier than normal.”
But not everyone was so lucky. Nikki Britton, a first year Human Rights student, was planning to volunteer at an orphanage in Port-au-Prince before the earthquake hit. Now, she says, the orphanage is gone.
Regardless, she is still going forward with her plan to visit the country with Absolute Leadership Development. They intend to rebuild the destroyed orphanage while working with other orphanages as well.
She believes that the process of giving back also includes educating oneself about world issues.
“If you don’t have any understanding of it, you can’t hope to make any change at all.”
To raise money for her trip and the orphanage, Britton planned an event called Classy for a Cause at downtown club, NV. On February 11, cover was set at $3 to raise funds for her cause.
From that event, Britton raised approximately $1300. Of that, $1000 will go towards the orphanage.
“I was pleasantly surprised at how generous and supportive so many people have been over the past few weeks,” said Britton. “It was great to see that someone even put a contribution of $10 in the donation jar. I feel so lucky to be able to go down to Haiti and even more so to have the support of people back home.”
So far, Laurier for Haiti has raised about $1200. The amount raised between the Brantford and Waterloo campuses is close to $10,000.
“I think that is an incredible amount,” said Brickman. “I am very humbled by the generosity of the students, staff and faculty of Wilfrid Laurier University.”
The island country of Haiti was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on January 12 leaving Port-au-Prince, its capital and the surrounding regions completely devastated. As of January 28, the confirmed death toll had reached 170,000 with thousands more injured or missing.
The Canadian government has promised to match all donations from Canadians.