The Alfred State College community, saddened by the horrible tragedy in Haiti as a result of the devastating earthquake, met recently to begin plans to do our part to help the people of Haiti. We have learned that international relief organizations are in dire need of supplies, food, water, and rescue and medical staff to help with the relief efforts.
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 (http://www.haitioutreach.org ). Founded in Minnesota in 1997, the organization early on hired retired Wellsville ophthalmologist Dr. Ken Van Dine's son Neil, who is now its director. For years Dr. Van Dine has been leading an annual trip to Haiti with a volunteer medical team to perform eye surgery. Campus officials have been in contact with Haiti Outreach officials over the past two days. It is an IRS-approved 501(c)3 non-profit organization which provides medical treatment, education, and clean water to Haiti's inhabitants. Alfred State will host an information session with the Van Dine family next week for community members who are interested in learning about the work they are doing in Haiti.
We know that cash donations are what is most needed at this time. We have dubbed our relief campaign as “Rebuilding Haiti One Brick at a Time.” There are a number of fundraising efforts underway:
- Beginning today, students and faculty/staff will be able to donate a dollar for a symbolic paper “brick” at the campus stores (Alfred and Wellsville campuses), which will be displayed for support. (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.
- The Alfred State Student Senate is sponsoring a “Give-Up-a-Meal” event to benefit the earthquake victims. Students can give up a meal on Monday, Jan. 25, and ACES will donate the food costs to the relief organization. Students with CSA dollars can also donate as can faculty and staff with declining dollars on their cards.
- At athletic events on campus, donations will be collected at the door (beginning with athletic events scheduled Saturday).
- Next Friday night (Jan. 22) – We have dedicated our “Welcome Back, Students” party to the relief effort and will collect donations at this event, scheduled in the Pioneer Lounge at 11p.m.
- Student Activities and Student Senate will be launching an information campaign on Channel 3 (campus cable station), the campus store, and in the dining areas on campus. Further information will be sent out to the residence halls, WETD, Tor Echo and Student Announce on Monday. This information will provide students, faculty, and staff with information about Haiti.
Over the next few weeks, students, faculty, staff, and community members will be able to offer additional support at a number of events that include:
- On Wednesday, Jan. 27, and Thursday, Feb. 11, the Alfred State Programming Board will be taking donations at its comedy show and Build-a-Bear annual Valentine’s Day events.
- In the residence halls, Hall Councils will utilize a recycling initiative to raise money toward Haiti outreach and relief.
Spencer Peavey, director of Student Activities and Orientation, will coordinate all campus activities aimed at relief efforts. Any additional ideas or suggestions on how we, the ASC community, can help and/or involve our neighbors in the Alfred community are welcome. Contact Spencer at (607) 587-4074 or email@example.com  with your suggestions.
The College has also established a Haiti relief fund where anyone can make donations to support our “Rebuilding Haiti One Brick at a Time” campaign relief efforts. 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.