MHS clubs collaborate for Haiti relief – Web Exclusive

Carlie Sack | Staff Writer

Student clubs of Mason High School are stepping up to help provide relief to Haitians devastated by recent earthquakes.

Helpers of People of Everywhere (HOPE) Club, International Club and Mason African-American Students for Change (MAASC) collaborated to in order to collect donations from MHS students in first bell classrooms last week.

According to International Club President Angela Slanova, these donations will be given to the American Red Cross.

“Red Cross will [try to] provide all the aid [the Haitians] need: food, shelter, medical supplies and water,” Slavona said.

Several consecutive earthquakes have devastated Haiti, according to U.S. Geological Survey. The first major earthquake of 7.0 magnitude on the Richter scale hit Haiti on January 12, leaving many Haitians without food, shelter, water and much-needed medical assistance, according to RedCross.org.

HOPE Club Secretary Buthaina Karaman said she knew that she needed to get the entire school involved in order to help the Haitians.

“I was watching the news and I just got right on my computer to email [HOPE advisors Rachel] Cronin and [Nicole] Paxton,” Karaman said. “I had to do something about it.”

MAASC member Stephanie Bohanon said that she needed to take some sort of local action to help Haiti.

“I know I can’t hop on a plane, [but I still] want to feel like I am making a bigger impact,” Bohanon said.

Slanova said that a huge crisis like the one in Haiti called for a huge effort by Mason High School.

“Both clubs decided to help,” Slanova said. “[We needed] two clubs because we wanted to go to [every] first bell classroom.”

The Haiti relief fundraiser was an impromptu decision by HOPE club, according to Karaman.

“[The club] wanted to help as soon as possible, [so] we had an emergency meeting,” Karaman said. “We had a big turnout, which was really appreciated.”

According to Paxton, MHS raised above $1500 after only two days of fundraising, $2546 after three days and a final count of $4231 after four days.

The final count of student donations exceeded the fundraising goal of $3000.

Karaman said that the clubs’ efforts have not only raised donations for the Red Cross, but also spread knowledge and understanding of the situation in Haiti.

“I think there is a general concern about [the people in Haiti] and talking about it [in first bell classrooms] has raised awareness,” Karaman said.

Bohanon said that she agrees that the students need to be more aware of the situation in Haiti.

“[The students] got involved, but they don’t have a big understanding,” Bohanon said. “They need to be informed.”

According to Slanova, the decision to help Haitians was a matter of the world uniting in a single humanitarian effort.

“Our world is so divided,” Slanova said. “It’s sad that an event like this has to happen for us to come together [and help.]”

Slanova said that the devastating earthquakes in Haiti were emotional for her to hear about and she knew she had to take action.

“It pains me to see [people] who are already suffering so much from poverty,” Slanova said. “I wanted to help and [the Haitians] need us.”