|Students raise $12,000 by joining forces
There is power in numbers.
Ikwuezunma, from left, Danya Jordan (Water Missions International),
Katie Koval, Elaine Kao, Sheldon Bates, Kelsey Walsh, Beverly Pinder,
Mallory Hudson, Heather Leisy and Steven Yu meet to discuss Water
That’s what a group of medical students who head various campus groups
found when they decided to join forces to raise money for disaster
relief for Haiti through Water Missions International (WMI).
The group recently presented the nonprofit group a check for $12,000
that included matching funds through the Haiti Renewal Fund. Medical
student Steven Yu said he had no idea when he sent out a mass e-mail
after the earthquake in Haiti that he would get the response he did.
“It’s the proudest project I have ever worked on, and it truly
exemplified the giving nature of our student body,” Yu said. “I think
students wanted to help, they just needed a plan.”
Medical student E. Gini Ikwuezunma agreed. The students decided to pick
Water Missions International, which is a nonprofit charity based in
Charleston, because it specializes in water purification technology and
disaster relief. Students were motivated to raise money because they
knew it would be used for sustainable clean water, which is essential
in the treatment of wounds and in the prevention of water-born
diseases, he said.
“When you work together for a cohesive goal, that is what galvanized everyone.”
Then came the hard part—how to raise the money. It was decided that the
Global and Tropical Medicine Interest Group of which Yu serves as
treasurer and secretary would spearhead the relief efforts. The
students decided on two events: a ticket sales event offering drawings
for gift certificates for more than 50 items or services donated by
area businesses followed by a cocktail affair called “Hearts 4 Haiti
Yu, who also is president of the Medical Student Business Association,
said more campus organizations and colleges got involved as the process
moved along, including the Medical Student Business Association, the
American Medical Women’s Association, the Student National Medical
Association, the Student Government Association, the Public Health
Interest Group, and various students from the physical therapy,
pharmacy, nursing, dental, and physician assistant schools.
Yu said both events were great successes, and he was amazed at the
responsiveness of the community and the generosity of businesses.
Danya M. Jordan of WMI, who came to accept the check, said that she was
impressed by the enthusiasm of the students. She held up a sample
bottle of muddy water that would be typical in the areas they serve.
Each Living Water Treatment System can purify 10 gallons of muddy,
parasitic water per minute, up to 10,000 gallons per day, which is
enough for at least 3,000 people daily. With the MUSC investment and
matching funds, more than 1,200 people in Haiti will have years of
sustainable safe water, improved health and hygiene training, she said.
For additional information on WMI, visit http://www.watermissions.org/.
Friday, April 9