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Students Collect Clothing/Blankets for Haiti

PHOTO: Students show items collected for Haiti Relief effortThe SUNY Orange Student Senate-sponsored 10-day clothing/blanket drive to aid relief efforts in Haiti netted nearly 7,000 pounds of clothing, blankets and other essentials that were donated by students, faculty, staff and community members. All donations were passed along to the AFYA Foundation in Yonkers, N.Y., for distribution to Haiti. AFYA, which generally collects donations of medical supplies for distribution in countries around the world, has joined with countless organizations to funnel much-needed assistance to the residents of Haiti. SUNY Orange student Robert Dimmie, center in hat, who organized the clothing/blanket drive, is shown with, clockwise from his right, Brian Slevin, Laurie Raskin, Marlyn DeFreece and Corinna Stoker, who helped him pack the supplies into a van for transport to AFYA’s storage facility. SUNY Orange president Dr. William Richards has pledged the College’s support to assisting the long-range recovery efforts in Haiti and the College will be looking at projects that may benefit the resurgence of that country’s educational system. The Student Senate continues to accept monetary donations in the College Bookstore and other student-run fundraising/donation efforts are being planned.

Letter from the President

Colleagues and friends:

SUNY Orange is committed to supporting both the immediate and long-term relief efforts to aid the earthquake victims of Haiti. The recovery, stabilization and restoration of Haiti as a nation--not to mention the revitalization of the entire Haitian population--will take years to complete. We cannot simply respond to this disaster in the short term, we must look to continued efforts that will assist Haiti and its residents in rebounding from this ordeal throughout the coming months and years.

I met recently with a small group (of College staff and faculty) to discuss the College response to the suffering in Haiti. At future meetings, students from Haiti will join us. Following is a preliminary list of the efforts as a College community that we will mount on behalf of the Haitian people.

Some of the initiatives will begin immediately and others will evolve over time as we gather more information from our students.

Below is a reprint of a message Crystal Schachter sent to our staff and faculty not long after the initial earthquake. Our planning committee felt it should be posted here:

Many SUNY Orange students have been impacted by the recent disaster in Haiti. Some of the students may be suffering from emotional distress, and some may need their academic schedules adjusted in order to address personal emergencies. Please refer any student needing assistance to the Advising and Counseling Center. Advisors/Counselors are available to provide emotional support, connect students to additional resources, and assist with academic adjustments.

Thank you for your support now, and in the future.

Dr. William Richards
President, SUNY Orange