Funding, technology, exploitation

by Despina Doukas

In the “every man for himself” society that we have been living in, it is refreshing to see the world coming together in support of a just cause. By now, everyone has heard of the January 13th earthquake that devastated Haiti, leaving estimated thousands dead and even more homeless.

In the past month, the media has flooded the public with disturbing images of those who lost their lives in the natural disaster, and others who lost all of their possessions as it destroyed a nation that was already in dire need of economic and political stability even before the earthquake.

It seems that these images sparked concern amongst men and women of all backgrounds Celebrities, politicians, and the general public have come together under these tragic circumstances to fund relief for the victims and to rebuild a nation. Especially in Canada, the population has reacted quickly and efficiently to provide relief in Haiti more so than any other fundraisers in the past.

Canadian celebrities like Nelly Furtado, The Tragically Hip, and Ryan Reynolds donated their time and money in the “Canada Help Haiti” telethon.  In addition, Stephen Harper announced that the federal government would match the total amount of donations that Canadians give to relief in Haiti. The Canadian population, after being so affected by the damage that has occurred in Haiti, are doing everything they can to help the people of this nation.

It is crazy to see how growing technology is even able to make it easier for almost everyone to help those affected by the earthquake. The world came together with Facebook and Twitter to spread the message that Haiti needed our help, and soon people in countries from every corner of the world were able to join in. Who would have thought that social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter would help save people’s lives from half – way across the world?

It really has become easy to help, and even Dawson students have noticed this. With winter semester beginning only a couple of weeks ago, students and faculty on campus have found creative ways to spread awareness of the dire needs of Haiti, and to raise money for the cause. Bake sales, clothing drives, and donation boxes have been set up around campus these past few weeks and the response has been overwhelming.

However, amongst all this positive response to help those in need, some people still saw this natural catastrophe as an opportunity to exploit those who wanted to help. When the news first came out about the  earthquake, there was an immediate response of people who wanted to help.  However, there were various warnings on the news of people who were using this opportunity to scam those who wanted to help and steal the donated money. The media urged the public to choose the organizations to donate to wisely.

We have learned from people like Earl Jones that things like this can be expected in today’s society. Still, it is sickening to think that someone can watch everything that is going on in Haiti and use it as an opportunity to exploit people who want to help.
All of these frauds and warnings of exploitation have shed a negative light on fundraising. In light of all of this though, our school has done an excellent job in organizing on campus and choosing a reliable organization to donate the proceeds. Public Relations and Student Services, in affiliation with the Red Cross, are ensuring that all money being raised on Campus is going to a legitimate organization and will be used where it is needed the most.

So, amongst the tragedy and exploitation, Canada and our school can be proud of our efforts to support a nation in need, and remain certain that the money being raised will go to people who need it the most, the victims of Haiti’s disastrous earthquake.

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