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ECU students raise money for Haiti earthquake victims

Wearing red to show solidarity with the people of Haiti, students Allen Broady and Judith Nganga prepare to collect donations at Wright Plaza for Haiti relief.
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Jan. 20, 2010)   —   Struck by the images and stories of the earthquake in Haiti, many East Carolina University students have felt compelled to act.

ECU students from a variety of majors, classes and campus organizations have come together to raise money and awareness in the wake of the earthquake that has left widespread death and destruction.

The outpouring has moved Christian Denard, a 23-year-old student from Haiti. “I didn’t think that many people were going to respond,” said Denard, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering.

On Tuesday, many students wore red clothing and ribbons to show solidarity with Haitians. On Wednesday, members of the ECU community are asked to donate blood from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Wright Plaza.

And throughout January, students will be stationed at three locations to collect money for the American Red Cross. Students will be outside Destination 360 at the Student Center, Wright Plaza on the ECU East Campus and the Brody School of Medicine on the West Campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  

Denard has been active in encouraging students to get involved. The four days following the earthquake were the hardest for him, as he waited for word that his family had survived. “I didn’t know what was going on, or if they were dead,” he said. “You see things on TV and you’re wondering.”
 
His parents, a doctor and nurse from southern Haiti, often help out with hurricane and other disaster relief in the country. Now he’s working with the African Student Organization and other campus groups to keep momentum going.

Allen Broady, a physics major from Roanoke Rapids, said he felt inspired to help after reading and watching reports of the devastation. “Everyone was feeling the same thing: We’ve got to do something,” said Broady, who was collecting donations and handing out ribbons Tuesday. “It won’t help to just sit around.”

A student-created Facebook page, Pirates for Haiti, serves as a clearinghouse for information on how students can help.

As Student Government Association president Brad Congleton observed, the crisis in Haiti calls students to live out the university’s motto, Servire (Latin for “To serve”).

Lathan Turner, associate dean of students, said students and staff will continue fundraising and raising awareness long after January comes to a close.

“The devastation that we’ve witnessed since the earthquake in Haiti just brings about a spirit of wanting to help in any way possible,” Turner said.

For more information, contact Turner at 252-328-1743 or turnerla@ecu.edu.
 

 


Contact: Karen Shugart | 252-328-1159