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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston student organizations fundraise to fight sickle cell anemia in Haiti

On Dec. 6, the African Student Union (ASU) and Haitian American Society (HAS) of the University of Massachusetts Boston hosted the  L’amour du Coeur Gala to raise awareness about sickle cell anemia, and to raise money for Hope For Haiti to support children in Haiti.

Jacqueline Haley a representative of the Greater Boston Sickle Cell Disease Association, stated, ”1/400 African Americans have sickle cell anemia.” She continued, “Sickle cell anemia is when hemoglobin within the red blood cells is formed improperly. This causes the blood to be sticky, not flow like it should, and this blood will occlude small blood vessels at the level of the organ and cause organ dysfunction.”

Although sickle cell anemia is one of the most common diseases in African Americans, it still one of the lowest funded diseases and the African Student Union and the Haitian American Society made sure the audience was aware of that.

This event was also geared towards raising awareness for Hope for Haiti.  Hope for Haiti is an organization that makes it its mission to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children, through education, nutrition, and healthcare. For over 20 years, the organization has been working in partnership with the Haitian people, to connect, heal, and empower communities on the path toward sustainability.

Hope for Haiti makes sure that over 95 cents of every dollar donated is used for programs that can help create a better future for the children of Haiti and has held the vision from the very beginning that the people of Haiti are the ones who take control of their future. Although no member of Hope for Haiti could make it to the event, the organization sent over a video of them personally thanking UMass Boston for their efforts.
The African Student Union and the Haitian American Society were very pleased with the contributions and support of the people who attended. The H.A.S. president, Ted Hilaire, stated, “The event went very well. I enjoyed every second of it, most of all I was very appreciative of the people who donated to our organizations. It was one of my biggest dreams to be able to help the people of Haiti. Being able to receive help from students and staff on campus to make my dream come true, meant everything to me.”
Although the event has passed, the student led organizations are still accepting donations at their respective locations in the student activities area in the campus center.

Through this gala, which was held at the campus center, the African Student Union and the Haitian American Society were able to raise over $500. The event gave the crowd a range of emotions as the information contrasted with many lighthearted moments.