RSOs band together to raise funds for Haiti

Led by Engineers Without Borders, UIUC Haiti Fundraising Week hopes to raise $2,000 for Hurricane Matthew relief



Men unload food from Food for the Poor off a barge to the coastal town of Pestel, Haiti, on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016. Pestel was damaged severely by the passing of Hurricane Matthew. (Patrick Farrell/Miami Herald/TNS)

By Adam Kaz, Staff Writer

In October Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 hurricane, was responsible for over a 1,000 deaths in Haiti and left over 1.4 million Haitians in need of humanitarian aid.

In order to supply aid to the victims, 15 and counting University Registered Student Organizations are raising funds Nov. 5-12. The UIUC Haiti Fundraising Week was first conceived by the Engineers Without Borders Executive Team in mid-October.

The coalition of RSOs plan to build awareness about the storm disaster in Haiti and hope to raise $2,000 for charities working in the region. Twenty percent of the funds will go to Project Agua and 80 percent to Partners in Health.

Project Agua supplies clean drinking water to at-risk areas in Haiti. Partners in Health fights the spike in the Cholera epidemic that manifested in the wake of Matthew.

Christopher Watson, senior in Engineering and executive board member for Engineers Without Borders, said the idea for multiple clubs to fundraise together originated from his co-member Bora Ozaltun, senior in Engineering.

“I think it’s exciting that you get groups that do really different things,” Watson said. “They’re working for the same cause.”

Watson believes that many people may not know about the state of help needed in Haiti because U.S. media has focused on Hurricane Matthew’s effects in Florida. 

“It really didn’t hit Florida that hard, but before it hit Florida it just decimated Haiti,” Watson said.

The other RSOs will be hosting events throughout the week. Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, will host a Disney Trivia Night on Wednesday at Murphy’s Pub at 8 pm. A fundraising event at Joe’s on Thursday night will be hosted by Engineers Without Borders and Zindaa. Wristbands will be available for $5, and $2 wells all night. All proceeds from wristbands will go directly to fundraiser. 

On Nov. 5, Society of Physics Students and Society for Women in Physics hosted the guest lecture event: Physics for Everyone. The guest lecturer was Physics Professor Jeffrey Filippini.  During the event, they sold $187 in baked goods for the Haiti Fundraising Week.

Anudeep Mangu, junior in Engineering and an executive member of Society for Physics Students, said people donated whatever they saw fit. Donations varied from a quarter to $50.

“Instead of doing ‘a brownie is a dollar’ or something like that, we ask people to donate as they see fit and we got a lot of generosity that way,” Mangu said.

Illinois Outdoor Adventure Club hosted their event, a Hike for Haiti, on Sunday.

On Monday, the Asian American Association hosted a fundraiser at Latea, a bubble tea lounge in Champaign.  

Jonathan Ko, junior in Engineering and vice president external of the Asian American Association, said it is their responsibility to help the victims.

“If we’re in the position to improve the lives of others, there’s no reason why we should be idle,” Ko said in an email.

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