Long before the recent earthquake, Castleton State College freshmen were made aware of the ongoing dire situation in Haiti.The incoming class was assigned over the summer to read Tracy Kidder’s novel, “Mountains Beyond Mountains,” which detailed a third-world country torn apart by a history of slavery, poverty, disease and foreign national influences that have had long lasting effects.
So when Tuesday, Jan. 12 came and the mammoth 7.0 earthquake leveled Haiti, the freshmen class and the entire world was shown how people in an already ravaged land could be forced to suffer even more.
But Castleton students are doing something about it.
A donation table was visible at convocation and both students and faculty have been working on efforts to raise money to send to Haiti.
Also at convocation, President Dave Wolk began the ceremony with a moment of silence in remembrance of those who died in the quake.
“Students feel invested in Haiti, with the book they read this summer. We are all connected.
Any family in Haiti is family of Castleton. We can make a difference, and it doesn’t end today,” Wolk said following the moment of silence.
He also strongly encouraged students and faculty to give generously to the donation
table and to on campus organizations trying to support Haiti.
Castleton student Lexi Schultz organized bake sales at last weekend’s men’s hockey
game to raise money for a friend who has been working for the past year at the Heartline Orphanage in Port-Au-Prince. Schultz’s friend lived through the earthquake.
Other students, like Sara Vella and Rosie Williams put their funds toward Partner’s In Health – an organization that has been providing health and educational resources in Haiti for the past 20 years and is the main organization that Kidder’s novel focuses on.
When asked why and how Williams got involved she responded “Initially I volunteered to help out at a donation table at Convocation because I wanted to do anything that I could to help out. After that, Sara and I set another table up at one of the men’s basketball games.
“I realized that even if we could just make a couple thousand dollars how much of a difference it would make to those people, who right now have nothing.