Last week, ALPHA Club members, as well as representatives of the CSI Office of Disability Services and Office of Student Life, hosted a presentation by Denise Bloise, Director of the Brooklyn and Staten Island Chapter of the American Red Cross, not only to present Ms. Bloise with over $1,000 that students had collected for Haitian relief, but also to discuss the current Red Cross efforts in Haiti, and encourage CSI students to get involved to help others in need.

As for the student relief efforts, back in the cold and snowy days of February, members of the ALPHA (Academics, Leadership, Public Service, Humility, and Acceptance) Club (formerly known as the Organization of Unique Individuals) mobilized CSI students, staff, and faculty members, as well as Staten Island businesses, in a two-day effort to raise urgently needed funds to assist victims of the Haitian earthquake that devastated the island nation on January 12, 2010.

The event’s host, Christopher Cruz Cullari, Interim Director of the Office of Disability Services, underscoring the importance of service, noted that the February fundraiser was an example of “good promoting good.” The club’s effort assisted the people of Haiti, and it also brought together people at CSI and in the surrounding community. Further, the fundraiser’s success brought the Red Cross to campus and is now inspiring people to do further good.

ALPHA Club members Marybeth Melendez and Kelyn Potes discussed the reasons for the fundraiser, and the success that they achieved, despite the challenging weather.

Debi Kee, Associate Director of Student Life, commended the ALPHA Club for their efforts and provided other examples of how students can volunteer their time.

The keynote speaker, Ms. Bloise, presented facts and statistics regarding the Red Cross’s massive relief efforts in Haiti and presented examples of what typical monetary donations will provide. She also mentioned that many Haitian Americans from New York City volunteered to go to the stricken island to provide crucial translation services to help Red Cross representatives better help those in need. The presentation concluded with a brief video outlining the services that the Red Cross offers local citizens who have encountered disasters and other adversities.

For more information on the Red Cross Haitian relief, or to volunteer at the local level, go to the Red Cross Website.