In response to the devastating earthquake that rocked Port-au-Prince last month, the campus community, with the help of Associated Students, has raised nearly $50,000 for Haitian relief efforts.
A.S. received a total of $24,962.52 on Feb. 5, the result of donations accumulated from the local community via the internet, mail and A.S. ticket offices between Jan. 13 and Jan. 31. The A.S. Legislative Council will match this amount using money from their unallocated funds and Board, Committee and Commission’s collective donations, bringing the total to $49,925.04.
Half of the money will be directed to Lambi Fund of Haiti — an aid organization focused on long-term sustainability and agriculture — while the other half will be given to Direct Relief International, which seeks immediate relief.
Off-Campus Representative Chloe Stryker, a second-year political science major, said she was surprised at student enthusiasm for the cause.
“We thought matching the amount would be motivation for people to send in money,” Stryker said. “The incentive worked and I was amazed that in eighteen days we were able to raise $25,000. When we were looking at the money coming in, it wasn’t in big chunks. It was a lot of small donations that we could see was coming from students. It was actually a lot of small numbers that added up.”
In addition to the nearly $50,000 raised, Stryker said A.S. also approved a number of other small fundraising and aid initiatives. All together, the total contributions to Haiti relief from A.S. will likely be around $55,000, she said.
A portion of the additional funds came when the Legislative Council sent money from a special projects fund to the Red Cross one day after Haiti was ravaged by the natural disaster.
“The day after the earthquake we figured we needed to do something quick,” Stryker said. “That’s when we decided to take $2,000 from our special projects [fund].”
Moreover, A.S. will match the estimated $1,200 raised at last week’s Haiti Relief Concert, which will go towards the Center for Black Studies’ Haiti Relief Fund.
Adam Goldman, an off-campus representative, said he was relieved to see the huge response from students.
“I was kind of skeptical about how the community would respond,” Goldman, a third-year political science major, said. “It’s pretty heartening to see the students of UCSB respond to something like this.”
“There are some great student activists and people that care about making the world a better place,” Goldman added. “It’s a testament to the hard work put in by students. UCSB is kind of viewed as a party campus and not as an activist one. Stuff like this shows what we’re made of.”