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Missouri State Students Launch Fundraiser For Haiti

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Students at Missouri State University are responding with action to help the relief efforts for Haiti. A program called “Bears Backing Haiti: 50 in 50” was created from a desire to provide short-term and long-term aid to the people living through this devastation. KSMU’s Adam Murphy reports.

The goal of “Bears Backing Haiti: 50 in 50” is to raise $50,000 in 50 hours. The program was established after a group of students from across the Missouri State campus decided they needed to find an immediate way to provide aid to the people of Haiti. The headquarters for collecting the money will be a tent outside of the Plaster Student Union on campus that will be staffed for a period of 50 hours from 6 p.m. Tuesday evening through 8 p.m. Thursday night. Jeremy Schenk is the Director of Student Engagement at MSU.

“They didn’t want it just to be a passive spot of you could drop money of here or there. They wanted to be out there and aggressively working for it. One student made the comment, they’re sleeping outside, and so can we. And so, we will staff that tent for 24 hours a day,” said Schenk.

Donations are also being collected at the Bears and Lady Bears basketball games on Monday and Tuesday nights. At the conclusion of the event on Thursday, a candlelight vigil will be held and the funds will be given to Convoy of Hope to benefit those in Haiti. This project will involve around 530 combined hours of service from students, faculty, and staff of the university. Schenk says the level of concern at MSU is high.

“I think as a public affairs institution here at Missouri State, our students, staff, and faculty are very supportive of wanting to do more in the community, and when there’s a situation like this on campus and in the world, our campus wants to respond,” he said.

Schenk says students are discussing ways to provide more long-term help as well, such as an alternative spring break trip to Haiti next year. More information on donating as an individual or business is available from Jeremy Schenk at 417-836-4386 or JeremySchenk@missouristate.edu. For KSMU News, I’m Adam Murphy.