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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMB Rallies Behind Relief Effort

UMB Rallies Behind Relief Effort
UMB Rallies Behind Relief Effort

The recent tragic events in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. elicited a spirit of volunteerism and altruism throughout the nation. UMass Boston was no exception.

Just days after the September 11 tragedy, UMB Senate President Heather Dawood began organizing a planning committee to determine how UMB students could most appropriately respond to events. The committee, supported by Student Life, voted on how best to collect donations and what means they would use to distribute the donations.

A decision was reached to work with a local television station, WB56, who agreed to match every dollar they received with a 50 cent contribution. The committee also wanted to work with a relief effort where the community’s money and donations would go directly to the cause, and would reach all three of the crash sites. WB56 satisfied all of those criteria.

Non-perishable food was also collected, to be donated to the Salvation Army.

Student Life employees set to work stapling red, white and blue ribbons to be offered at on-campus collection booths in the Wheatley and McCormack lobbies. When asked how many ribbons the Student Life Office cut and stapled, Joyce Morgan, director of Student Life, said, “Over 4,000 … they stopped counting at around 4,000.”

The ribbon was purchased at a discount from Colleen’s Flower Shop on Dorchester Ave by Wit’s End Café, and then donated to the efforts.

From Monday, September 24 through Thursday, September 27, more than eighty volunteers offered their time and assistance. People from throughout the campus pitched in to help out. Student Life staff and employees, and groups such as MASSPIRG, the Haitian Club, and Casa Latina offered their help in manning booths and spreading the word. Most of the volunteers worked in half hour shifts collecting donations from students, staff and faculty. The response, according to everyone involved, was immense.

“I’ve seen a lot of students give tens and twenties,” said Student Senate President Heather Dawood, “People weren’t afraid to empty their pockets.”

The total in monetary donations was $6,318 from the four days of collecting. On Monday alone, over $2,300 was raised and on each of the following three days, donations exceeded $1,000. The largest contribution was a $500 check from a UMB professor. There were also a number of $100 checks given.

On Friday September 28, the total donation was delivered to WB56. “The UMass Boston contribution was the single largest donation we received,” noted WB56 staff person Laverne Blake.

The cost for shipping all the nonperishable foods that were collected will be provided by the CFO of Peabody Office Furniture, Mark Anderson. Donations will go to the Salvation Army warehouses first and will be divided and distributed from there as soon as possible. All of the food items received in this effort will go to the cleanup sites to provide food for relief workers at the three crash sites.

Heather Dawood and Joyce Morgan wish to thank all those who donated their time and efforts to this endeavor. Special thanks go to: Linda Smith-Mooney and all the Student Life staff, Sarah Reddick, Deb Portman, Lucien Ferriabrough, Rita Haidul-Campbell, Diane Murphy, Bob Cole, Donna Neal, Mayerlin Fana, Jack Bernal, Jain Rudivich-Higgins, Paul Delaria, Kevin Joyce, Mai Dao, Bridget Shaughnessey, J.P. Goodwin and Amanda Ducharnae. Also of great assistance were Juliette Lee and Allison Cairo of MASSPIRG; Beth Cohen from the Chancellor’s office, Billy Indrisano and Gwen Mackay, who provided evening clean-up, and Dean of Students Stephanie Janey.

Efforts are underway to plan a candlelight vigil and ceremony to honor those lost on September 11, and to officially present thanks to the community for their support. The tentative date for this event is October 9.

About the Contributor
Natalia Cooper served as news editor for The Mass Media the following years: 2001-2002; *2002-2003 *News writer Gin Dumcius filled in as news editor for Spring 2003 before returning to their writer position. Disclaimer: Years served is based on online database and may not detail entire service.