Students, clubs ramp up Haiti-relief efforts

By Kaitlyn Teabo |
Photo by Kaitlyn Teabo

PHOTO CAPTION: Phi Alpha Omega members sign up bachelors for the the Bachelor Bid.

Phi Alpha Omega President Ashley Devany is doing everything she can to reach out to victims of the earthquake in Haiti.

“I think it’s important to help Haiti now because in all honesty they need it most,” she said.

Phi Alpha Omega is raising money for the Haiti Relief Fund through the American Red Cross at this year’s Bachelor Bid. The bachelors of Flagler College will go to the highest bidder and all the proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.

“We have the potential of really giving to Haiti and we want everyone to put their energy into this big project so we can send as much as possible,” Devany said.

Another Haiti-relief-focused event, “Bands on the Lawn,” brought students together on the West Lawn for a free concert to fuel donations. Emily Ward and Josh Santos started the festivities followed by local bands Waiting On Brian and General Southern.

“After seeing the devastation in Haiti, it makes you want to do anything to help,” said General Southern drummer Brady Baxter. “When we were asked to do this, we all agreed we’d be happy to play some songs so that people might donate to the Haiti fund. It’s very sad to see people in such a bad state, and I think it’s important for everyone to donate or help, even in small ways like we did.”

Kristin Nelson, Director of Student Activities, is taking this opportunity to guide students around campus to make an impact. Nelson said the most rewarding has been the response of students and staff who have knocked on her door with new ideas to help. She feels this is one of the most important times for people to come out to all these events that she is helping planning and show some support.

“It is just a mass devastation that occurred down there,” Nelson said. “It’s a natural cause and it could have happened to us to and it would be nice if people helped us too. I think your heart just goes out to them. You see all this devastation and you know they already live in poverty and you just want to help. A lot of our hearts just go to helping so it’s kind of a natural instinct.”

SGA will also be selling carnations to help the cause. Flagler students can send a carnation to someone special over Valentine’s Day. Half the proceeds will be donated to help those in Haiti.

“As they lost almost everything and it will take years to build everything back up, even though we are a small school, every little bit can help,” said Stephanie Hyland, SGA’s Community Service Committee First Chair. “They need it the most right now.”

“We have incredibly high hopes for this years Bachelor Bid because it is going to a charity that is kind of on everyone’s heart at the moment,” Devany said.

Also, Flagler placed several donation boxes around campus for the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund. Anyone can donate to the American Red Cross in $10 increments by texting “Haiti” to 90999. Unicef and the Clinton Bush Foundation can also be contacted to make donations.

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