The University of Maryland’s Community Roots and The Caribbean Students Association are teaming up to raise money for the Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services, which is sending supplies to the Haiti victims of Hurricane Matthew, said Community Roots President Danielle Gillis.
Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti on Oct. 4 as it landed on the country’s shores as a Category 4 hurricane and killed about 1,000 people, according to an Al Jazeera article. In January 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook the country, killing about 200,000 people and initially displacing 1.5 million people, according to a CNN article.
“Haiti still hadn’t recovered all the way from the earthquake, and then they get hit by this hurricane and it’s killing hundreds of people,” said Gillis, a senior broadcast journalism and English major. “They just don’t have the resources to rebuild.”
The fundraiser, which will run from Oct. 17 to Oct. 21, has a goal of raising $200, Gillis said. The organizations wanted to be reasonable with the goal, Gillis noted, adding that they hope their fundraising efforts raise more than that.
The Catholic Relief Services, an organization that “assists the poor and vulnerable overseas,” according to the group’s website, was an ideal partnership for the two campus organizations, said senior economics major Sanjay Forrest, who also serves as president of the Caribbean Students Association.
“With smaller groups [like the Catholic Relief Services], they could possibly work faster, get the money there quicker so we can actually help the people who need help,” Forrest said.
To make the most of this fundraiser, both groups teamed up with the DMV Caribbean Students Association and the Caribbean Students Association at Howard University to help provide Haiti with as much help as possible, Forrest added.
As some students in this university’s Caribbean Students Association have family in the Caribbean, this donation will mean a lot to them, said junior geology major Raheem Martin.
“We hope that would motivate people more to donate,” Martin said. “There are people in our organization whose families are affected by it, so fundraising could help a fellow classmate out.”
In addition to this fundraiser, the Caribbean Students Association, along with the six other campus organizations including the African Student Association, the Native American Indian Student Association, the Ethiopian-Eritrean Student Association and the Japanese American Student Association will be collecting clothing or money donations for their Haiti fundraiser on Oct. 22, Raheem added.