UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Helping Haiti

012710Headline_HaitiThursday, Jan. 28, is the big night of music, silent auctions and raffles in Sullivan Science Building to raise funds for Haitians in need. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. Parking will be free in McIver St. Parking Deck.

The Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti left at least 150,000 dead – the number is not yet known. Many have been left with limited access to food, water and shelter. UNCG is helping those who survived, in an effort coordinated with the Office of Leadership and Service Learning and the Office of Campus Activities and Programs. Lots of individuals and organizations are coordinating efforts. And one big event is Thursday’s fundraiser, which is sponsored by a campus alliance called Zamni – UNCG. Tickets continue to be offered mid-day in the EUC foyer. They will also be available at the door.

All proceeds will go to Partners In Health and their work in Haiti.

Partners In Health has been working in Haiti for more than 25 years and, with their Haitian community partners, operate a hospital complex and several satellite clinics and hospitals on the Central Plateau and have opened and run field hospitals and operating rooms all over the Port a Prince area.

They are consistently rated at the top of non-profits in terms of their effectiveness and the high ratio of their funding that goes directly to their programs (rather than administrative or other costs). Charity Navigator has awarded them its highest ranking and a recent article in The New York Times listed them as one of the most effective organizations currently dealing with the humanitarian crisis in Haiti.

This particular event had its origins when two anthropology faculty members saw a need. Very soon, a bunch of students in Anthropology joined in. “This quickly became a student-driven initiative,” says Dr. Jo Paluzzi. “And I have never seen anything like it. We have over 100 students from across the campus and across disciplinary and school boundaries with more contacting us every day to simply say, ‘Tell me what I can do to help.’”

Their regular Jan. 20 Anthropology Club meeting turned into a different kind of meeting – with students from other organizations joining them to offer ideas, said Cathy Hamilton, director of the Office of Leadership and Service-Learning. Graham 421 was filled. The result: Zamni – UNCG. “Zamni” is the Creole word for “partner.”

Chancellor Linda P. Brady announced a coordination meeting, so all interested individuals and groups campus-wide could hear from each other and join forces, in many cases. The EUC Auditorium the following day had about 150 people – about 20 percent who attended were faculty and staff, 80 percent were students. A lot of ideas and practical advice was offered. Announcements were made. Sign-up sheets passed around. And everyone left knowing about key contacts and key events – such as an educational event on Haiti offered Jan. 21 by Greek organizations and Jan. 28’s big fundraiser.

Hamilton stressed at that meeting that there was no good way to get canned goods or clothing to the people of Haiti in need. But those assembled seem to reach consensus on two ways to help:

A blog about the campus’ Haiti relief efforts has been created: http://uncghaiti.wordpress.com

Thursday, Jan. 28, fundraiser event

The music Thursday night will be “an eclectic mix,” Paluzzi says, “a rock-Brazilian-mellow-bluegrass-Latin-musical-jazz-fusion. The performers are all volunteering their time: After Thought, Dream Killer, Kristen Leigh, Do Right, Latin Rio Trio and an ensemble from Dreams of a King.

“It promises to be fun and – with the number of raffle and auction prizes we have – a lot of people will walk away with some very lovely stuff,” Paluzzi says.

Some examples:

SOUTH AFRICAN ZULU CERAMIC POTS – ONE HOUR OF FLIGHT TIME OVER GREENSBORO – PERUVIAN FOLK ART – FIRST NATION BASKET- SPA GIFT CERTIFICATES – COOKIES OF THE MONTH’ FOR A YEAR – FOOD GIFT BASKETS – HAIR SALON STYLING – HAND-PRINTED CHILDREN’S SHIRTS – USE OF A PICK-UP TRUCK FOR AN AFTERNOON – JEWELRY – HAND-KNIT SCARVES – PET BOUTIQUE BASKET – RESTAURANT GIFT CERTIFICATES (INCLUDING A CONFIRMED RESERVATION FOR FOUR AND A GIFT CERTIFICATE TOWARDS THE MEAL FOR VALENTINE’S DAY) – CLOTHING – HAITIAN STEEL DRUM ART – HOME FURNISHING GIFT CERTIFICATE

Those with questions may contact Dr. Sarah Wagner or Dr. Jo Paluzzi.