A ‘Caring Community' Reaches Out to Help Haiti
The global community felt emotional tremors when a 7.0 earthquake claimed the lives of more than 100,000 people in the small country of Haiti. In a message to Baylor students, faculty and staff, Interim President and Dean of the George W. Truett Theological Seminary David E. Garland encouraged the Baylor community to pray for victims, their families and those going to provide aid. He also announced a community-wide prayer service held on Baylor's campus at Truett Seminary that evening.
The message was only the first of a strong outpouring of charitable efforts initiated by the Baylor family. In the days that followed, student groups, faculty and staff announced various opportunities to support relief efforts in Haiti.
- Journalism students' "Give the Shirt Off Your Back" clothing drive collected gently worn T-shirts and other clothing items for earthquake victims.
- Baylor social group, Zeta Zigga Zamma hosted "Heroes for Haiti." Students came dressed as their favorite superheroes and raised more than $1,700 for Youth with a Mission (YWAM).
- The Honors Student Activity Council donated proceeds from its fourth annual "Night Out" date auction to Doctors Without Borders.
- Fraternity Alpha Tau Omega sponsored a "Car Bash for Haiti!" A '91 Chevy Lumina took a beating while ATO took donations.
- Baylor Chamber of Commerce organized an apparel sale featuring merchandise from Homecoming, Parents Weekend and Diadeloso events and raised $1,200 for Compassion International and World Vision.
- Baylor School of Music performed a "Concert for Haiti" which collected $3,626 benefitting the Salvation Army.
A Night of "Hope"Another benefit concert was hosted by local band After Midnight. The band, comprised of Baylor faculty and staff: Robert Darden, Barry Hankins, Stephen Gardner and Lance Grigsby, raised $2,700 from donations at the door and a private auction.
"We all agreed we wanted organizations with people on the ground," Darden said. "The goal was to cover food, shelter and medical needs."
Proceeds from the "Hope for Haiti" event went to World Hunger Relief, Habitat for Humanity and Doctors Without Borders to address each of the key relief areas.
"I was very happy at the time with the student and faculty response," Darden said. "My dream would be that this would continue for months to come."
Motivating FactorsWhile the devastation in Haiti moved many in the Baylor community to act, the disaster hit much closer to home for at least one Baylor student.
Sophomore Kelly Rapp volunteered to spearhead Student Government's campaign. It was not just his role in Student Government that motivated Kelly to help. His sister, a grad student at Columbia University, was in Haiti at the time of the quake and witnessed much of the destruction.
Just two years ago, Rapp traveled to Haiti with his sister and visited a small village located very near the earthquake's epicenter. "The personal experience was one that motivated me," Rapp said. "And on top of that, my sister being there was even more motivation."
Student Government collected donations for Mission Waco to support its immediate and long-term relief work in Haiti.
"Student Government was contacted by many, many people who were interested, both students and the community," Rapp said. "I was proud to see Baylor really rise up. People were talking about it, and they were noticing that something was happening."