Fordham Raises $44,359 For Haiti


Published:April 15, 2010

Since January 12, Fordham University has collected $44,359 in donations for Haiti relief. Over half of that amount, $22,503.81, was raised by student clubs.

The student club fundraising includes bake sales, raffles and any student run event on campus.

Fundraising efforts for those affected by the earthquake in Haiti have been underway since the earthquake struck.  Donations have been made directly to Fordham’s Web site, and students have held numerous events to solicit donations.

The Fordham’s Got Talent event, which was held in early March, raised about $100 for Haiti, according to Dorothy Wenzel, director of Student Leadership and Community Development (OSL&CD).

On April 7, Fordham College at Lincoln Center’s (FCLC) United Student Government (USG) sponsored a Haiti Relief Benefit in the Lowenstein Atrium.  A total of $333.50 was raised through T-shirt and button sales, as well as a raffle.

“People were really willing [to donate]. We had students, who weren’t even student leaders, come in and give more than the suggested donation, and not even take free food!”

Brandi D’Esposito, FCLC ’11, vice president of Student Affairs and coordinator of the event, said, “It was the first time I had ever seen some of them at an event, and it was clear that they were doing it for a good reason. I don’t think that there was really anyone who just came in without donating.”

Students were entertained with performances by fellow classmates, including Ben Lebowitz, FCLC ’11. Lebowitz performed a song called “What You Believe,” which he says was inspired by the events in Haiti.

“It truly shows how aware and willing we are as a student body to help those in need. It is very easy for us here to lose touch with what has happened after news on Haiti slowly dissipates from the media,” Lebowitz said.

Kevin Sammut, FCLC ’11 and president of Campus Activities Board (CAB), said, “CAB is hosting a Lady Gaga ‘concert’ performed by a Lady Gaga impersonator on April 22 at 6 pm in the Atrium. There will be a two dollar admittance fee, which will be donated to Haiti relief. CAB will also be hosting its second annual Beatlesfest on May 4.  From 3-6 p.m. there will be food sold by clubs in the outdoor plaza, and from 6-10 p.m. there will be music… Although there is no suggested donation, all money earned from food sales will be sent to Haiti relief.”

According to Tom Dunne, vice president of government relations and urban planning at Fordham, the total amount of money raised cannot be broken down into categories. However, the money collected encompasses, “University church and campus ministry collections, special events by students, fines from Fordham libraries, direct donations by students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of Fordham,” Dunne said.

The money raised will go to the Catholic Relief Services and the Jesuit Refugee Service. Dunne said all money will be sent to both groups at the end of the semester.

The money sent to the Catholic Relief Services and the Jesuit Refugee Services will be used to give sanitary water, food, shelter, and medical supplies to those affected by the disaster.

Jesuit Refugee Service has set up numerous camps in Port-au-Prince and is now focusing on long-term projects for Haitians, including building schools for children and providing psychological aid to victims.

Catholic Relief Services has implemented a “cash-for-work” program in Haiti, which has employed 1,700 Haitians since the earthquake hit to help clean up the remnants of the city. There are also groups of locals who are trained in different aspects of emergency response, such as evacuation or transportation. After the immediate danger has passed, Catholic Relief Services helps build water and sanitation systems, provides farming tools and supplies and rebuilds homes of victims.