Students Take Action
On January 12, a horrific 7.0 magnitude earthquake slammed Haiti. Groups around the world have rallied to provide food, supplies and on-the-ground support - including American college students. A week after the quake hit, the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) joined with Partners in Health (PIH) to launch a national college fundraising challenge. By making it a competition, the ASSU hoped to raise awareness and motivate students to take action. Their efforts have been a resounding success, with over 20 participating schools plus the campus-based FACE AIDS project raising over $200,000 and counting.
From the ASSU College Haiti Earthquake Fundraising Challenge stats page, as of Friday, January 29
Although the challenge isn't over yet, the clear winner appears to be the group Students at Dartmouth for Haiti Relief (SDHR). They started with a goal of $100,000 and had such success that they've bumped the amount up twice. As their challenge meter above shows, the group has raised over $175,000 - and that's before their upcoming benefit concert. This Sunday, SDHR is hosting 'Compàs: The Haiti Relief Benefit,' featuring Haitian music and student performances, an event that promises to add another big boost to their fundraising efforts.
Dartmouth's success has largely come from their advanced fundraising model, which mobilized hundreds of campus and community volunteers managed by eight focused committees. The SDHR group was started by student body president Frances Vernon and two other seniors, Maura Cass and Alexandra Schindler, who credit Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim as their inspiration. Kim co-founded PIH, and has helped the student campaign through national calls for support.
From the PIH Haiti relief Flickr set
Partners in Health was founded in 1987 to provide medical care for poor communities around the globe. The group currently operates in ten countries and has nine hospitals in Haiti in addition to their earthquake emergency triage center.
Students who want to get involved with the national college fundraising challenge can still start a chapter at their own school. The ASSU has made it easy to sign up for an account, set up a personal fundraising page and get the word out to your cohort. You can even show your school pride by displaying your progress on their stats page, which also has the instructions for starting your own campaign.
Currently participating colleges, universities and student groups as of press time include:
|School or Group Name||Current Total|
|Washington University in St. Louis||$6,443|
|University of Houston||$1,835|
|Portland State University||$900|
|University of Rochester||$40|