Andrews Mobilizing Haitian Relief Effort
Date: January 14, 2010
Andrews University is mobilizing resources to respond to the Haitian earthquake victims located both in Haiti and here on the Andrews campus in Berrien Springs. Under the leadership of Pastor Ron Whitehead, assistant to the president for spiritual life, leaders from across the Andrews campus met Wednesday afternoon, just hours after the quake hit, to discuss the situation in Haiti and Andrews University’s response. These efforts include a relief trip, an aid fund and initiatives to support both the mental and spiritual well-being of students, faculty and staff who may be personally affected by this international tragedy.
“As my Dad always said, ‘We are stronger together’ which is why we—as a campus community—feel it’s so important to band together during these dark times and lift up our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ through our prayers and support, but also by lending our physical and financial support through relief efforts,” says Whitehead.
Spiritual and Emotional Support
Campus chaplains and counselors are working together to offer spiritual and emotional support to the campus, particularly our Haitian students, who may be personally affected. The Counseling & Testing Center (Bell Hall, Suite 123) is ready to offer counseling and support to students in need of guidance as they begin to process the events and information affecting their loved ones. A counselor is available during the evening hours at 269-277-0549 or during the day at the main office, 269-471-3470.
Information on Haitian Victims
According to the U.S. Department of State, the following number is in place for Americans seeking information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. Due to heavy volume, some callers may receive a recording.
Relief Trip Plans Underway
WeCare Disaster Response, an organization that exists to provide an organized response to both natural and man-made disasters, is planning a Haitian relief trip during Andrews University’s spring break. (Spring break is March 12–19.) “We see the need in Haiti as a long-term relief effort which is why we are also beginning to plan additional relief trips during the summer months,” says Wanda Swensen, director of WeCare Disaster Response. WeCare is part of the Center for Youth Evangelism (CYE), a training and resource center for claiming, training and reclaiming youth and young adults for Jesus Christ headquartered at Andrews University. Past relief efforts organized by WeCare include aiding in the aftermath of the September 11 attack, the Hurricane Katrina relief effort, and most recently, Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike recovery.
The AU Haitian Relief Fund has been established, offering our campus and local community a way to offer their financial support to Haitian relief efforts. Donations can be made online at www.adventistyouth.org/donate by selecting “WeCare Missions” in the dropdown menu. These funds will be managed by Andrews University Financial Administration and dedicated solely to providing aid to victims of the Haiti earthquake. A.D.R.A., Adventist Disaster Relief Agency, also has a fund dedicated to Haitian relief. Visit www.adra.org to make a donation online.
For more information about WeCare Disaster Response, the AU Haitian Relief Fund or to learn how you can get involved, please contact Wanda Swensen at 269-471-3632 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Vern Byrd, director of operations for the CYE, at email@example.com or 269-471-8384.