Editorials and Opinions

Haiti Relief Efforts Fading At South

By Sam Hyun
Published: March 2010

On January 12, Haiti was struck by an earthquake, which shook the lives of billions of people around the world. While millions of Haitians were stripped of all their belongings, the citizens of the rest of the world amalgamated as one to help the distressed Haitians.

Students at Newton South High School immediately took action and began to devise tactics that they felt would raise the most money to send to the Red Cross.

These students’ responses, along with those of the rest of the world, provided relief and support to Haiti with unprecedented immediacy.  I was contacted by Isaac Freedman who was one of the original students to organize a group and we got to work.  He asked me to help collect money from parents and students as they were filing into school in the morning and arranged other methods by which we could collect donations.

It was a brilliant idea and after 2 days we were able to collect over $4,000! We were all in high spirits because of what we had accomplished, but were constantly reminded of the predicament at hand. Organizations at Newton South such as Invisible Children, STAND, and the class officers from the classes of 2010 and 2011 immediately stepped up to raise money and contribute more to the cause.

These efforts coupled with those of the rest of Newton demonstrated our community’s ability to come together for a great cause.

Invisible Children raised over $3000 through donations and events and will be donating a significant portion of that money to Haiti. Unfortunately the initial effort and focus which raised thousands of dollars over a short period of time has slowly dwindled away to nothing.

The group still exists, yet nothing is being organized, no donations are being made, and the drive to help has disappeared.  The relief group at South was important during its first few weeks, but little since then has been done.

Sadly, we tend to forget the suffering and agony that occurs on a daily basis to other people outside of Newton. This is, in part, a natural tendency, but above all it is selfish.

After a few days of sympathetic gestures and donations, we continue onwards with our lives worrying more about issues pertaining to solely our personal lives or other relatively insignificant issues compared to the lives of the Haitian people.

I am not trying to lecture people on morals because I am guilty of this selfishness, but we need to remind ourselves that the task of helping the Haitians is not complete.  We must refocus our efforts.

I am not saying that you should disregard your education or personal life, but you should spend a little less time on Facebook or playing COD, and think of ways we can continue to raise money.

Even better, you could make time to help the efforts that, to this day, are still going on.  Relief efforts are fading, but in order to truly make a lasting difference in Haiti, we must concentrate on reviving the support sentiment.

We are capable of so much and we have yet to tap our full potential. We need to come together once again and help relieve the pain of the suffering people of Haiti

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