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CMCers Open Hearts, Wallets for Haiti

February 17, 2010

Wyatt MacKenzie
CMCers Open Hearts, Wallets for Haiti

In the five weeks since Haiti was struck by a catastrophic earthquake, there's been a global outpouring of support and CMC has been no exception.  In addition to the events and contributions that have sprung up all over campus to help raise money for Haitian relief efforts (everything from a benefit featuring Without A Box to a 3 on 3 basketball tournament at Pomona, to a plan to donate profits from the Motley) the Community Service Office, ASCMC, and our dorms' RAs and Community Service Reps have worked together to raise more than $2500. Ben Kraus, the ASCMC Dorm Affairs Chair, worked to coordinate the efforts, which included the door-to-door visits in the dorms and senior apartments, a dorm challenge with an In-N-Out reward to incentivize donations, and numerous dorm events, while the Community Service Office arranged a pizza party in Claremont Hall to help collect contributions.  If free fast-food is what it takes to make us donate, I guess there are worse things.

Although the original dorm challenge ended on January 31, donations continued to pour in, and the Community Service Office was contacted by an alumnus, Adam Sherman '09 who offered to match student donations up to $5,000.  Many students also contributed to relief efforts on a personal basis, and Courtney Dern, who works with the CSO, reports that "people who have donated on their own (and have proof of donation) want to see if they can add it to the communal pot to be matched. If that's the case then we'll have over $1000 more to add."  Nevertheless, that leaves CMCers some $1500 more to contribute if we want to squeeze the most out of the matching opportunity, which the CSO hopes to achieve by the end of the month.  The CSO aims to plan one more fundraising event before then, as well as an alumni campaign.  Meanwhile, Ben Kraus and ASCMC today announced another fundraiser-- ASCMC will be holding a raffle for an Amazon Kindle, selling tickets outside Collins for $3 each from Wednesday, February 24 through Friday, February 26.  ASCMC also plans to accept donations at the White Party.

Although CMCers' efforts have been impressive, there have been bumps along the way.  The money raised through ASCMC and the CSO has been raised for Partners in Health, a large health care charity with decades of experience working in Haiti, while Sherman would prefer to see donations made to Fonkoze, a (very CMC sounding) microfinance institution which provides Haiti's poor with microloans in the hopes of "building the economic foundations of democracy."

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