In the aftershocks of last week’s earthquake in Haiti, UF students have rallied together to raise funds and supplies to send to the victims of the disaster.
Gators United for Haiti, a student group originally founded in 2008 but reorganized following the disaster, has united with UF administrators to raise $50,000 to send to the small, impoverished Caribbean country.
So far, the umbrella organization, which includes such groups as Club Creole, Student Government, Hope for Haiti and VISA, has raised about $4,000.
Jennifer Oxilien, public relations chairwoman for Hope for Haiti, said the organization started collecting money, clothing and relief supplies last Tuesday. The group will continue collecting donations throughout the week, she said.
Angela Pierre, public relations chairwoman for Club Creole, said the club has raised more than $600 since last Wednesday in addition to collecting food and clothes in the drop zones around campus.
Pierre said as time goes on, more students are willing to make donations because they are more aware of the situation in the affected areas of Haiti.
“People started to see the effects and then became more willing to contribute,” she said.
Beth Waltrip, director for campus programs for the Reitz Union, said Gators United for Haiti leaders have been unable to decide where to send the donations.
However, she added Gators United for Haiti is looking to other student organizations that want to be involved in the relief effort to help decide where the relief packages and funds will be sent.
Sky Georges, the president of Gators United for Haiti, said it has been great to see the UF community assembling together for one cause.
“I just thank everybody for finding it in their hearts to serve the Haitian community,” he said.