Westminster College will hold Haiti Relief Week starting tomorrow and several organizations have planned activities to raise awareness of the plight of people in Haiti and to raise money for relief efforts.
“The tragedy in Haiti reminds the entire world that we live in an interconnected and global community,” says Westminster President Dr. George B. Forsythe. “The plight of our Haitian neighbors affects us all. Along with millions of people from around the world, Westminster students are responding to the need and applying the lessons of leadership, service and social justice at the heart of our College’s mission for the benefit of the Haitian people.”
The week will start with a Philosopher’s Corner at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 16, in Hazel 302 to discuss the crisis in Haiti and what, if anything, should be done in response. Two of the philosophical questions to be discussed are whether individuals have a moral duty to help those in Haiti and similar humanitarian crises and what long term solutions can be found to humanitarian crises such as Haiti’s that are often tied to the problems of poverty.
At 8 p.m. that evening, a Pep Rally for Haiti will be held at 8 p.m. in the Hermann Lounge with music, concessions and prizes. Participants will be encouraged to give donations for Haiti relief.
Members of the national honorary leadership fraternity Omicron Delta Kappa and the public services of Reeves Library have organized a trivia night from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 17, in the Johnson College Inn area of the Hunter Activities Center. Teams of six will answer questions that reflect the Westminster liberal arts education on subjects such as Westminster history, Churchill, Haitian history and other categories. The cost if $5 per person or $25 a team. Proceeds will go to Haitian relief.
An 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 18, a Chapel Service will be held in the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, to explore the question “Who is my neighbor?” and pray for the Haitian people in their time of suffering. An offering will be taken for Haitian relief.
“We want to help remember this tragedy and better understand the suffering of the Haitian people as well as rejoice in their rebuilding and take part in their recovery,” says Westminster Chaplain Brad Sheppard.
On Friday, February 18, at the social sponsored by the Student Government Association from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Haiti Relief buttons will be sold. Individual buttons can be purchased for $2 or two buttons for $3. One button offered says “Save Haiti” and has a map of the country on it. The other button says “Blue Jays Love Haiti.” The Piece Makers will also sell handmade jewelry during this time period. Proceeds will go toward Haitian relief.
A Pennies for Haitians event, sponsored by the servant-leadership program CIVICUS, will take place all week. Jugs have been placed in Westminster Hall and the Johnson College Inn in Hunter Activities Center where those interested in donating can deposit their change. Later in the week officers and members of CIVICUS will tour the residence halls to college more change. The goal is to earn at least $250 to go toward the Haiti Relief Fund by Friday.
Members of the Westminster servant-leadership program CIVICUS, students participating in other programs of the Center for Leadership & Service and the Westminster Student Government Association are all working on future activities to raise money for Haitian relief.