Beginning with this weekend's basketball doubleheader, the Mount Ida College Athletic Department and the Student Athlete-Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) will be sponsoring "Hearts for Haiti" to raise money for Haiti relief after the devastating earthquake that crippled the country nearly two weeks ago.
At the entrance to every home sporting event through Valentine's Day (February 16) there will be paper hearts for sale for a minimum donation of $1. Each heart sold will be signed by the donor and posted on a collage in the Mount Ida Athletic Center foyer. Additionally, blue, yellow, and red ribbons representing the Haitian flag will be passed out to donors at each game to raise awareness and show support for the relief efforts in Haiti.
All of the donations from "Hearts for Haiti" combined with the campus-wide fundraising efforts for Haitian aid will be given to Partners in Health towards their Stand with Haiti campaign.
The Stand with Haiti campaign was created to meet the immediate need faced by the Haitian people in the wake of a 7.0 Mw earthquake that struck ten miles from Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. The campaign aims to raise funds and recruit qualified medical personnel to serve in the disaster areas across the country. Currently the Partners in Health/Stand with Haiti team is designated by the World Health Organization to serve alongside the Haitian Ministry of Health as coordinators of the public University Hospital (HUEH) in Port-au-Prince, supporting the administration and staff in restoring services at the city's central hospital.
Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere and the earthquake destroyed most of the already fragile and strained infrastructure in the most densely populated area of the country. There have been nearly 170,000 deaths counted with an estimated three million people being affected by the destruction. Approximately 20,000 deaths are recorded each day that could have been prevented through adequate medical care and surgery, highlighting the continued need for medical aid.
This weekend's doubleheader begins at 1 PM on Saturday when the men's basketball team faces Norwich University and continues at 3PM with a women's game between Mount Ida and Simmons College.
Partners in Health has been working on the ground in Haiti for over twenty years and are heavily involved with the current relief effort. Partners in Health are a local Non-Governmental Organization based in Boston, Massachusetts that works to bring modern medical care to poor communities in twelve countries around the world. More information on the organization and their work in Haiti and around the world can be found at http://www.standwithhaiti.org/haiti.