Relief Efforts for Japan Underway


Published: March 30, 2011

After a powerful earthquake shook the island of Japan on March 11, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) students joined together in an effort to raise money to help rebuild the devastated country.

FCLC’s first-responders to the Japan relief effort were the members of the Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC) with fundraisers on the Plaza as early as March 24 when students returned from a week-long spring break. The first bake sale raised a total of $201.25, all of which will be donated to Americares, a non-profit disaster relief and humanitarian organization.

Cindy Xie, FCLC ’11 and president of APAC, said the club chose Americares because the organization had mobilized a team immediately after the disaster. “We felt since they were already in Japan and doing very important work, it would be most beneficial to donate to them,” she said.

In addition to the bake sale, APAC also held an origami crane donation where students could fold a traditional Japanese paper crane. Xie said, “We were able to fold several hundred cranes to donate to Students Rebuild, who has teamed up with They will be donating $2 per paper crane to go towards reconstruction efforts in Japan.”

Erin Yang, FCLC ’11, who helped table the event, said, “If people didn’t have cash [to pay at the bake sale], they could pay with cranes.”

United Student Government (USG) also emailed students urging them to ask for suggested donations at all upcoming club events, and said they will provide moneyboxes for club leaders to collect. All money raised in these money boxes, as well as monetary donations made to Fordham’s website, will be donated to Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the same organization Fordham donated to when an earthquake struck Haiti last year.

According to Tom Dunne, vice president of government relations and urban affairs, the money given to CRS will be directed to Caritas Japan, which is a “social service arm of the Church that responds with food and other assistance,” Dunne said.

Although APAC has chosen to donate to a different organization, Xie said that the club will still be using the money boxes suggested by USG to solicit donations at upcoming events. APAC plans to hold another bake sale and crane sale after the success of their first event. Xie also said that the Muslim Students’ Association (MSA) has already reached out to them for conjoined fundraising in April but “nothing has been finalized yet.”

Nusrat Jahan, FCLC ’13 and head of public relations for MSA, said that the club will be holding four bake sales in March and April. “We felt that [since] APAC is spearheading this, we should join their fundraising. We decided that we should use the same organization that they are using.”

D’Esposito also said that USG will be tabling on the plaza the week of April 4 and is trying to work with as many clubs as possible.

USG will continue to collect money via donation boxes, including a table at Midnight Breakfast in the cafeteria in April.

Amelia Zaino, FCLC ’12, and president of Commuter Students Association (CSA), said, “We will be encouraging our members to attend all events related to fundraising for Japan, and encouraging our executive board and general assembly to help if APAC needs extra manpower,” Zaino said.

Zaino added that CSA will be hosting a coffee break on April 14 where guests will be welcome to donate. “We plan on having a Japanese food theme as well to keep in tune with the spirit,” she said.

Other clubs, like Middle Eastern Students Association (MESA), also plan on using the money boxes provided by USG during their next major upcoming event.  Monica Hanna, FCLC ’12 and president of MESA, said, “MESA will be using the money box from OSLCD and we’ll be collecting donations at the door during the Sultan’s Soiree on April 1.”

In addition, Monsignor Joseph G. Quinn, vice president for Mission and Ministry has arranged for collections towards Japan relief with weekend masses beginning on March 20.

Dunne said that the University will keep the Fordham community informed on its efforts to help Japan. “We are proud that student leaders moved quickly and decisively in support of the Japanese people in their time of unimaginable crisis.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Japan and it is our sincere hope that they are able to find comfort and recovery in these extraordinary times,” Dunne said.