Dartmouth Students Surpass $100,000 Haiti Fundraising Goal; Increase to $125,000


Dartmouth’s fundraising campaignImage removed.
Less than nine days after Haiti was devastated by an earthquake, Students at Dartmouth for Haiti Relief (SDHR) surpassed their aim of raising $100,000 for Partners in Health (PIH) and have now increased their goal to $125,000. Dartmouth leads a national collegiate PIH fundraising challenge by a substantial margin, with donations totaling $107,858 as of Thursday at 4 p.m., as reported on PIH’s Personal Fundraising website. Additionally, nearly $6,800 has been collected on the Dartmouth College campus to help support the two Dartmouth medical teams currently providing care at PIH clinics in Haiti.

“We raised the goal because we want to continue to encourage people to donate to PIH,” says student body president Frances Vernon ’10, who formed SDHR with Maura Cass ’10 and Alexandra Schindler ’10. “We are also working to establish a national goal for universities and colleges across the country. But we want Dartmouth to continue to be one of the largest contributors to PIH.

SDHR has organized more than 300 campus and community volunteers into eight committees, and their volunteer structure and fundraising model is setting the standard for colleges and universities nationwide. “Our mobilization was fast and our community rallied behind us with support,” says Cass. “But at the end of the day this isn’t about Dartmouth. We’ve shared our model for organization with colleges around the country and we will continue to be involved with this so that our mobilization is just the beginning of the national effort.”

Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim, who co-founded PIH, has helped lay the groundwork for a productive alliance between the Boston-based nonprofit and Dartmouth College, Dartmouth Medical School, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Two Dartmouth teams, comprised of 19 doctors and nurses, are currently treating earthquake victims at PIH clinics in Hinche and Port-au-Prince.

“I cannot tell you how proud I am of our community for all they are doing on behalf of the Haitian people,” says Kim. “As I said at a campus event on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I have a dream that Dartmouth College will rise up and lead all educational institutions in aggressively tackling the world’s troubles and making them our own. Clearly, we are well on our way.”

A fundraising dinner and community awareness event, Haiti Up-Lifted, will be held this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. in Collis Common Ground. The event will feature music, remarks, and a silent auction of Haitian art. Suggested donations are $5 for students and $20 for community members. On Sunday, January 31, the SDHR presents Compàs: The Haiti Relief Benefit. The concert of Haitian music and student performances will be held at 1:30 p.m. in Spaulding Auditorium, Hopkins Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for community members.

“At the heart of this mobilization is a set of core values that comes with being a Dartmouth student and a part of the Dartmouth community,” says Cass. “We care and we share common values. Most of us do not have immediate connections to Haiti but we are volunteering because this is about being global citizens, treating the world as our neighbors.”

Bonnie Barber