MC Continues Relief Efforts for Natural Disaster Affected Areas

by Haley Burnside & Shannon Gleba

Asst. Editor & Staff Writer

Stories of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and fires have dominated the news during the past few weeks. Fortunately, the frequent bad news has brought out the best in the Manhattan College community.

The natural disasters that impacted Mexico, Puerto Rico and Texas have compelled many students to get together and organize relief efforts for impacted areas.

On Oct. 12, JustPeace and Catholic Relief Services ran a fundraiser on the Quad to raise money for Mexico.

Mattison Thrall, a junior involved with JustPeace, thought the event was an overall success.

“The fundraiser went really well, we ended up raising just short of $500,” said Thrall.

Thrall was thrilled to be a part of the event, which she believes was a fun and creative way to raise money for Mexico.

“To raise funds we had fair trade coffee and cookies that were donated to us by the school, so when each person donated, no matter how big or little the donation, they were offered coffee and cookies,” said Thrall.

She continued.

“JustPeace came up with the idea, and we partnered with CRS so that we knew exactly where the money would be going. 100 percent of the funds will be directly helping the victims in Mexico which is so awesome.”

Thrall credited Kaiyun Chen, a member of JustPeace, with organizing the entire event. Chen is also a member of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and she brought the two organizations together for the fundraiser.

“Over the summer, I was fortunate enough to meet some Lasallian students through the IALU program in Rome. Following the earthquake disasters, I got in contact with my friends from Lasallian Universities in Mexico,” said Chen.

Chen explained how the fundraisers came together.

“After hearing about all the destruction that took place in their homes and communities, I asked what we can do on our MC campus for support as their Lasallian brothers and sisters. My friends told me that the best way would be to fundraise money,” said Chen. “They showed me pictures of something that they did on their own campuses, which is to collect money and create a spiral on the ground with coins.”

Chen brought the idea of the Spiral of Solidarity to Manhattan College to raise money. She pitched the idea at a JustPeace meeting, and the club decided to use it in their own fundraising efforts.

“After about 2 weeks of planning, the club successfully fundraised about $500.00 from this event. All proceeds were donated to CRS, Catholic Relief Services, which is a great organization that accepts donations in support of the destructions from the natural disasters in Mexico,” said Chen.

Luis Garcia Acosta, an international studies major from Mexico, expressed gratitude for the students rallying to help his home country.

“Fundraising definitely evokes a great deal of gratitude within me; especially with all of the recent speeches from the current president towards my country,” said Garcia Acosta in an email statement. “It makes me believe that people can acknowledge that despite nationalities, we are one species capable of uniting for the better.”

In addition to the efforts made by CRS and Just Peace, two other organizations at MC have worked to provide support to those in Mexico, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

On Friday Oct. 27, Fuerza Latina and Delta Kappa Epsilon joined forces to organize a carnival fundraiser, with proceeds being donated the Hispanic Federation disaster fund.

Isabel Quinones, vice president of Fuerza Latina, expressed the club’s desire to have the Manhattan College community participate in relief efforts.

“We hope to have MC students get involved in various ways. Sometimes it feels like natural disasters only gain attention for a week but the efforts in the Caribbean will take many years to complete. With that said, students and the MC community should aim to be one and to help in any way we can,” said Quinones.

Editor’s Note: Kaiyun Chen is a staff photographer for The Quadrangle.