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Howling for Haiti

Bolstered by a collective mindset of global service and humanitarian aid, NC State students have rallied the campus community around efforts to assist residents of earthquake-ravaged Haiti, helping to provide much-needed resources to a country where water and food are scarce, and rescue efforts continue at a frantic pace.

“The NC State community is deeply saddened by the effect of the recent earthquake on the people of Haiti, and we are committed to contributing to ongoing international outreach efforts in any way possible,” NC State chancellor Jim Woodward said. “Our campus community is dedicated to assisting recovery within the country.

“I am touched by the generosity and empathy of our students, faculty and staff and have hope that we can make a meaningful difference in the midst of this catastrophe.”

Student Government and the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service [CSLEPS], in partnership with international relief organization Stop Hunger Now, have kicked off the HOWL For Haiti campaign, collecting donations earmarked for the Caribbean nation at a number of locations around campus, as well as at Wednesday’s NC State/Duke men’s basketball matchup at the RBC Center.

“In times of international crisis, it’s our responsibility as a university community to step up and do our part to provide relief where it is needed,” NC State student body president Jim Ceresnak (’10) said. “This is not a Student Government or Union Activities Board project – this is a movement of NC State students, faculty and staff, and we hope to provide an opportunity for everyone to contribute and to show that NC State truly cares about the international community and people in crisis.”

Haiti, the third largest country in the Caribbean, is located near the northern edge of the Caribbean tectonic plate, near the North American plate border. Tuesday’s 7.0-magnitude quake occurred approximately 15 miles south of the Haitian capital of Port-Au-Prince, home to an estimated 2.5 to 3 million residents.

“When tragedy strikes, NC State is always there to respond,” said CSLEPS director Mike Giancola, noting the university’s assistance in relief efforts after 9/11, and after Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters. “NC State is an engaged university that values partnering with communities, local to global.

“It’s what we expect of ourselves as a campus community – it’s part of our culture. ”

NC State’s partnership with the Raleigh-based Stop Hunger Now dates back to 2004, encompassing collaborative efforts ranging from Southeast Asia tsunami relief and the university’s annual Million Meal packaging event to the more recent establishment of the President William Jefferson Clinton Hunger Leadership Award.

“NC State has a strong relationship with Stop Hunger Now,” Giancola said. “Before they expanded into meal packaging, their primary efforts focused on delivering food and medical aid to people suffering from famine or in times of crisis.

“We’re very fortunate to have such a wonderful partner so close to our campus.”

At the request of the Friends of the World Food Program, Stop Hunger Now will play a key logistical role during Haitian earthquake recovery efforts. For more than a decade, the organization has delivered essential food-, medical-, and monetary-based relief to Haiti and other impoverished nations, and has a wealth of contacts and partners already on the ground in the ravaged nation.

Members of the NC State family can donate now at a number of on-campus locations, including the Student Government office (located at Witherspoon Student Center) and the campus bookstores. Howl for Haiti volunteers will solicit donations at Wednesday’s basketball game at the RBC Center as well. Tipoff is 9 p.m.

Cash and checks will be accepted at all locations – checks should made out to Stop Hunger Now, noting “Haiti Relief” on the memo line. The need is great, but so are the determination and servant nature possessed by members of Wolfpack Nation, Ceresnak said.

“NC State students have a global focus, and they are aware of global issues,” he said. “In times of crisis, everyone wants to do what they can to contribute, and we want to make sure our efforts are unified as a campus.

“We pride ourselves on our ability to make an impact across our state, across our country and across the world, and this is an opportunity for all of us to do just that.”