By Shedeiky Hamilton
The earthquake struck. Thousands of lives lost. Prisoners on death row set free. No food, no water, no hope for survival.
The 7.0 earthquake that hit the capital of Haiti, Port Au Prince, on Jan. 12 saw numerous buildings colliding and many people trapped under the rubble. Many were lucky to survive while others suffocated to death.
The Western Hemisphere’s poorest nation was left with numerous children along with their parents homeless and several orphanages destroyed, leaving many children without family or needed care.
This tragedy has prompted Mercy College to support the Hearts for Haiti relief fund with their “Hearts for Hearts” campaign. All money collected during the campaign will be donated to Hearts with Haiti to assist them in restoring St. Joseph’s Home and continuing with their mission.
“Students will purchase a heart and write words of inspirations or hope in the middle of the heart. The hearts will then be posted in the hallways,” added Caitlin Kruger, a Mercy Academic Advisor responsible for the campaign.
The St. Joseph’s Home in Haiti was a boy’s home that cared to the needs of neglected boys providing them with a Christian home and family. Over the years, they had expanded into several different homes, namely the Wings of Hope for disabled children and the Trinity House which was established by the graduates of St. Josephs. Their home was one of the many buildings that were destroyed during the earthquake and has left many abandoned children homeless.
Kruger hopes that this campaign will raise enough money to help the owners to rebuild the houses that was a home to a significant number of boys and in recent years, some girls.
Another committee has also opted to help raise money to another non-profit organization willing to assist the Haitians who are left out in the cold.
The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), an athletic committee that is founded within all schools in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), is following its aim and focus in dealing with the issues of students’ welfare and community engagement.
As part of the community engagement, the Mercy College’s SAAC team, with its advisor Daryl Bullock, held a 50/50 raffle on Jan. 30 during the men’s and women’s basketball games, when the Mercy Mavericks were host to Molloy College.
“During the 50/50 drawing, I asked permission from a father in the audience to have his little girl do the drawing. She drew her dad’s ticket and he gave back the money because he was also from Haiti,” added Bullock.
The committee raised a donation of $550, which was received from the admission tickets on behalf of the U. S. Fund for United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), to support the relief effort after the devastating earthquake in Haiti.