West Virginia University will launch several campaigns next week to help people in Haiti affected by a devastating earthquake.

“Whether through monetary contributions or through donating materials and time, the WVU community can make a positive impact in the recovery efforts,” said Kimberly Colebank, director of WVU’s Center for Civic Engagement.

Jason Zuccari, WVU student body president, added, “The students of West Virginia University believe in helping our neighbors. We know that it is important to be citizens of the world, so we are doing our part to give back and help those in need.”

There will be many ways in which the WVU community can get involved in the recovery and relief effort over the next few weeks, and student body vice-president, Whiney Rae Peters, is calling on Mountaineers to make an impact.

“This is a horrible tragedy that is affecting hundreds of thousands of people and we need to do our part to help. I hope each and every member of the WVU community will do what they can to help the relief efforts,” Peters said.

Dollars for Disaster Fundraising Booths & Haiti Awareness Ribbons

In response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Haiti earthquake, WVU’s Student Government Association and Student Health Advisory Board are joining with student organizations and volunteers across campus to man Dollars for Disaster collection booths daily from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the following locations:

Mountainlair – Jan. 19 & 20 and Jan. 25, 26, 27

Health Sciences, Pylon Lobby – Jan. 19-22 and Jan. 25-29

Engineering Lobby – Jan. 21 & 22 and Jan. 28 & 29

Contributions may be made to either Yele Haiti or the Red Cross International Relief Fund at the booths.

Yele Haiti was founded in 2005 by Grammy-award winning musician and United Nations goodwill ambassador Wyclef Jean. The organization will distribute food and mobilize emergency relief to the citizens of Haiti.

All the money collected by Yele Haiti will be used in the relief effort.
The Red Cross will provide immediate and long-term relief through supplies, technical assistance and support to those Haitians in need after the earthquake.

In addition to collecting contributions, each Dollars for Disaster booth will offer blue Haiti Awareness ribbons. These ribbons are being assembled by volunteers on campus and will be worn to raise awareness of Haiti and its people and as a tribute to the tens of thousands of people who have lost their lives in this tragedy.

Haiti Awareness ribbons will also be available in the Center for Civic Engagement offices in Stansbury Hall and in the Student Organizations offices in the Mountainlair.

Yele Shoe Collection

Footwear is one of the most needed items in Haiti. WVU students will be collecting new or gently used shoes for distribution by Yele to those directly affected by the earthquake. Any form of footwear (tennis shoes, dress shoes, boots, flip flops, etc.) will be accepted. Collections will be taken on Jan. 25, 26 & 27 in the Mountainlair Commons.

Friendship Bracelets & Share Your Thoughts Website

The Student Health Advisory Board and the Center for Civic Engagement are offering some small but concrete ways to get involved.

SHAB will have materials available at all Dollars for Disaster collection booths to make friendship bracelets. Haiti is the most impoverished nation in the western hemisphere and its citizens have few material things. These braided bracelets will be sent to those affected by the tragedy on behalf of the WVU community as a tangible way to show its care and concern.

CCE has set up a website for those who want to share thoughts, condolences or feelings regarding this terrible natural disaster: http://dollarsfordisaster.wvu.edu.

Comments left here will be compiled into a book to be submitted on behalf of WVU to the people of Haiti.

Give Blood

The American Red Cross has greatly increased its staff and supplies for the blood drive scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 21 from 1 to 7 p.m. in the Mountainlair in an effort to increase the blood supply that is available to send to the recovery effort in Haiti.

Donate Online

If you can’t make it to the Dollars for Disaster collection sites, you may donate directly online through the Dollars for Disaster website: http://dollarsfordisaster.wvu.edu.

There you will find links to donate directly to either Yele Haiti or the Red Cross International Relief Fund.

Donate by Text

If you are unable to stop by any of the collection booths or are not near your computer, you can donate directly to Yele Haiti or the Red Cross International Relief Fund via text message.

Text YELE to 501501 to donate $5.00 directly to the Yele Haiti Earthquake Fund

Text HAITI to 90999 to donate $10.00 directly to the Red Cross International Haiti Relief Fund.

Charges will be billed directly to your monthly phone bill.


Contact Brett White at the WVU Center for Civic Engagement with any questions you have or to get the word out about any relief efforts you may have planned. He can be reached at 304-293-8761 or brett.white@mail.wvu.edu.



CONTACT: Brett White, WVU Center for Civic Engagement
304-293-8761, brett.white@mail.wvu.edu