NU Stands with Haiti staggered by community response

    In just one month, NU Stands with Haiti has raised more than $18,500.

    The students’ campaign to support relief efforts on the island nation surpassed its own expectations. The original fundraising goal was $8,000, or one dollar from every undergraduate student. SESP senior Megha Agrawal, one of the campaign’s organizers, said that the large sum is unexpected, but fantastic.

    “It was really exciting to see that the campus has really come together to get behind this cause,” she said. “It’s wonderful to see that people are recognizing the need for it and that they’re continuously staying involved with the issue.”

    Weinberg freshman David Chase, the ASG senator who passed legislation asking for ASG support with the campaign, also found NU Stands with Haiti’s school-wide success astonishing.

    “Once everything was put into place and so many student groups got involved, I think all of us really thought $8,000 was a reasonable but still challenging goal,” he said. “It was once we really started getting to our final total that I was truly astounded by the impact this student body made.”

    NU Stands with Haiti was created after the earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010. A group of Northwestern students, including Agrawal and Chase, began the campaign as they felt a need to help save the nation.

    “For me, the issue went beyond simply fundraising for disaster relief,” SESP senior Allison Bream, another organizer for the campaign, said. “I felt a sense of duty to learn as much as I could, think critically about the disaster and find some way to contribute to international relief efforts.”

    They gathered the support of student groups and around campus, students deposited money and supplies into donation boxes. Much of the campaign’s success stems from the efforts of various student groups, which collected donations at events they hosted. The students behind NU Stands with Haiti also found support from the Center of Student Involvement and teachers like Lane Fenrich, who ran a yoga class to support the campaign.

    “It’s really just about bringing people together,” Agrawal said. “Every day, there’s a new student group who wants to get involved.”

    Besides the $18,500 students have raised, the campaign received an additional $10,000 grant from the Lewis-Sebring Family Foundation of Evanston, bringing the total to $28,500, which will be donated to the organizations Partners in Health and the American Red Cross.

    In the coming months, the campaign will keep on supporting the relief efforts in Haiti. Bream hopes that the momentum from the first month will continue into the coming months.

    “We all feel strongly that this is just the first step towards rebuilding efforts,” Bream said. “People sometimes say our generation is apathetic. I think this sort of display of involvement shows just how much we care about what’s going on in the world. It’s been absolutely inspiring.”

    With such a staggering success, the campaign’s organizers are thankful to the students who participated and donated to help Haiti survive the destruction.

    “This is something that would never have happened without an empathetic student body and they deserve all the credit,” Chase said. “Every one dollar makes a huge difference and I think that the Northwestern and Evanston community deserve a lot of credit for standing with Haiti.”


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