Project Haiti raises money through group effort

Despite the wintry snowfall Friday evening, the Ball State University community pulled together to make a global impact.

When the devastating events occurred in Haiti less than three weeks ago, Student Volunteer Service members Matt Cochran and Leander Kauffman were brainstorming ideas on how they could help. Their organization, along with several other clubs such as Spectrum, Student Government Association and Alpha Phi Omega were determined to make an entertaining event open to the community.

The carnival type event featured different organizations that gathered donations from the community. Raffle tickets were sold to redeem prizes that included cookies from Concannon's, an autographed basketball from the men's basketball team, and even Colt's apparel. Small red buckets with the American Red Cross logo were placed around the L.A. Pittenger Student Center Ballroom for people to make any kind of a donation.

SVS advisor Kathy Smith said all the money raised would go to the American Red Cross.

"When Katrina hit in New Orleans, a lot of money was donated and people weren't sure where that money was going," she said. "The American Red Cross have tightened up their regulations and I had to get Project Haiti approved through the state board to ensure that this money would be going directly to the victims of Haiti."

There were also games such as ‘hillbilly golf,' sponsored by Alpha Phi Omega, which involved throwing a rope with two balls to a platform with three levels to score points. There was also a live disc jockey and refreshments were provided by the members of SGA.

For some, the fun and games for a great cause meant much more.

Junior Samantha Christman, a member of the Fashion Merchandise Association, had a more personal connection to the earthquake in Haiti.

"It's close to home for me," she said. "I have friends and family that are Haitians, and they lost family members. I was pretty empathetic."

Christman was selling stickers with messages such as "I Love Haiti" and "Help Haiti" and hopes to sell all 200 stickers.

In three weeks, SVS and other organizations teamed up to pull in a total of $831.00. The donations from the dodgeball tournament and the carnival didn't make the goal of $10,000 they had set, but students are still striving to earn as much money as possible by selling bracelets and accepting donations.

Contact the Student Volunteer Service center if you're interested in making a donation.
Who: Sponsored by about a dozen on-campus student organizations

What: Project Haiti: Ball State Edition; a carnival to raise money for victims in Haiti
Amount raised: $831 from the Friday night carnival and Thursday night dodgeball tournament


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