Alfred State College Haiti Outreach

Dr. Kenneth Van Dine with President Dr. John M. AndersonBecause we have all been moved by the destruction and suffering occurring in Haiti, a country long plagued with political and economic turmoil, ravaging hurricanes, and now a massive earthquake, faculty and staff at Alfred State College feel compelled to help. And because one of the international relief agencies has connections right here in Allegany County, the campus group organizing the relief effort has decided to support Haiti Outreach, an IRS-approved 501(c)3 non-profit organization which provides medical treatment, education, and clean water to Haiti's inhabitants. (http://www.haitioutreach.org). Founded in Minnesota in 1997, and now directed by Neil Van Dine, retired Wellsville ophthalmologist Dr. Ken Van Dine's son, Dr. Van Dine has been leading an annual trip to Haiti, under the auspices of Haiti Outreach, with a volunteer medical team to perform eye surgery for more than two decades.

On Wednesday, Jan. 20, Alfred State hosted an information session with Dr. Van Dine who provided a brief insight into the evolving situation in Haiti. On Friday, Dr. Van Dine will travel to Haiti to assist with recovery efforts.

Some of the initiatives already begun by ASC faculty and staff include a “Help Rebuild Haiti—One Brick at a Time” Campaign, where, for $1, members of the campus community can purchase a symbolic paper brick at the campus book stores. (Students and faculty/staff can utilize CSA for this as well.) The bricks will “build” a wall of remembrance in an effort to “support and rebuild” Haiti. This wall will be displayed in the Central Dining Hall throughout the semester. By the campaign’s second day, it had raised over $1,900! Dining Dollars may also be donated at the Main Attraction and Campus Spending Account donations can be given at the Wellsville and Alfred Campus Stores. The ACES Business Office will also take donations of cash, Dining Dollars, or CSA balances on Monday, Jan. 25.

Throughout the spring semester, donations will be accepted at all athletic events on campus; Shults residence hall will host a welcome back party, its proceeds going toward Haiti outreach; ASC’s Student Senate has dedicated its “Welcome Back, Students” Late Night party to the relief effort and will collect donations at this event; on Monday, Jan.25, the Alfred State Student Senate is sponsoring a “Give-Up-a-Meal” event to benefit the earthquake victims. ACES will donate the food costs to Haiti Outreach Ministries. Students with CSA dollars can also donate as can faculty and staff with declining dollars on their cards. A “Pie Your RA” program in MacKenzie East residence hall will accept donations in exchange for a plate full of whipped cream targeted at participating resident assistants; the Alfred Programming Board (APB) will take donations at its comedy show this month starring Kyle Dunnigan as well as in exchange for an Alfred State Limited Edition Build-a-Bear during its annual Valentine event; and Shults residence hall will host a “Will You Give a Buck” party Jan. 21 for relief efforts. Additionally, in the residence halls, Hall Councils will utilize a recycling initiative to raise money toward Haiti outreach and relief.

Alfred State Health Services has traditionally provided Dr. Van Dine with outdated medications and supplies that can be used up to one year after the shelf life date, but cannot be dispensed to students. Since the earthquake, Health Services has delivered five boxes of medications, wound care supplies, and other medically related items to Dr. Van Dine.

The College has also established a Haiti relief fund; checks can be made payable to the Alfred State College Development Fund. In the memo line, simply write “Haitian Relief.” Contributions may be made online via our online giving form. All donations are tax deductible, and 100% of the donation will be used to support Haitian relief efforts.

Additionally, Alfred State College President Dr. John M. Anderson is heavily involved in investigating ways the State University of New York (SUNY) can make a powerful and positive impact for the people of Haiti, and is working on a plan to offer five full scholarships in the College’s Building Trades Department to qualifying Haitians.