Laurier community reacts to Haiti crisis

Two weeks after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the Caribbean island nation of Haiti, the country’s capital remains in ruins, its infrastructure badly damaged and any prospects of rebuilding, at least in the near future, remain out of the question.

Moreover, the devastation and destruction left in the wake of this latest natural disaster continue to pose far too great a humanitarian challenge for the country to confront alone.

In response to the initial crisis, countless individuals across the globe mobilized to offer assistance and to facilitate the channeling of aid into the hard-hit nation. As the days press on, the response has only seen increasing momentum.

Interestingly, the Canadian contribution to the Haitian relief effort has been especially generous – so much so that it was even noted by the New York Times.

Reflecting on Laurier’s reaction to the crisis, Corey Sherwood, a first-year business student and the brains behind We Love U (WLU) Haiti, a charitable group organized within days of the earthquake, said, “The Laurier community has not hesitated whatsoever to respond.”

For Sherwood, assisting in the Haiti relief effort was a personal calling. He explained, “My mom was born in Port-au-Prince … that is really what motivated me to do this event.”

In response to the outpouring of support from all members of the university community, Sherwood said, “Laurier is a small community with big hearts.”

This very sentiment was echoed by another student-led initiative to raise funds for Haiti.
Lucy Zhang and Ruxi Coman, second-year business students, spearheaded the Laurier Haiti Relief Aid group. Zhang and Coman expressed similar gratitude in regards to what they considered an overwhelmingly positive response from Laurier students and faculty.

As of Tuesday, the group had collected donations totaling over $10,000, including the amount raised by the Laurier Bookstore.

As well, this past weekend the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union followed through on their own ambitious Haiti relief campaign. According to WLUSU president Laura Sheridan, the combined charitable efforts of Wilf’s, the Turret and the Terrace amassed a grand total of $3,360.

All of the funds raised from each of the aforementioned groups will be donated to the Canadian Red Cross on behalf of Wilfrid Laurier University.

On Tuesday, the City of Waterloo also announced a donation of $10,000 to Haiti relief efforts.

“Amongst a time of struggle for many in Haiti,” Sheridan said, “it brings hope to see the determination of our Laurier community in helping others.”

By the numbers

$3,359.55
The total amount WLUSU raised last weekend for Haiti Relief.

Breaking down the WLUSU grand total:
$424.80
The amount collected in cash from guests and employees at Wilf’s and the Terrace.

$1399
The amount collected at the Terrace from $1 per guest check on Saturday.

$347
The amount collected at Wilf’s from $1 per entree on Friday.

$1188.75
The amount collected from the door at The Turret on Saturday evening.

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