The Saint Anselm Crier

Campus Ministry conducts fundraiser to help areas devastated by hurricanes

Emily Maier, Crier Staff

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This year has already been labeled as the most destructive hurricane season since 2005, and the season isn’t over yet. With the rapid succession of hurricanes such as Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria, areas along the coast of the Atlantic have been left bruised and battered by the storms.

In order to combat the destruction caused by these tropical cyclones, Campus Ministry has volunteered their services to help in the relief effort. From Sept. 11 to Oct. 1, Campus Ministry will be collecting donations to help rebuild the damaged communities of Texas, Florida, the Gulf Coast, and the Caribbean. As of Sept. 20, only nine days into the donation period, Campus Ministry had already raised more than $200 in monetary donations.

When asked why the campus chose to get involved, Assistant Director of Campus Ministry, Joycelin Raho, said, “We really feel like it’s our Catholic call to respond to those who are in these situations and to provide whatever relief that we can. Jesus calls us to serve those least among us, so we feel like it’s our obligation as an institution to respond to these natural disasters.”

In addition to monetary donations, Campus Ministry will also be overseeing a disaster relief trip. This Service & Solidarity Mission was added as an option for Winter Break Alternative, during which students can travel to areas in Texas that have been afflicted by the hurricane season. Due to this opportunity, donors can choose whether their contribution goes to the Winter Break Alternative Disaster Relief Trip or to Catholic Relief Services.

In either case, the donations will surely be put to good use. Raho cites Catholic Relief Services as “one of the largest relief agencies that does direct, hands-on service in the communities that need it most.” The international humanitarian agency prides themselves on having assisted people in need throughout 100 countries for over 70 years.

But the altruism shown to the Atlantic coast doesn’t end at Campus Ministry. The Meelia Center for Community Engagement has also joined the relief effort, adding their own spin to the endeavor. Starting on Nov. 3, the Meelia Center is set to host a Dance-a-thon from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. The money raised during the event will go towards benefiting Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts.

Raho refers to Catholic social teaching, or a commitment to helping those in need, as “the church’s best kept secret.” In terms of the school’s religious background, Raho said, “It’s because of our Catholic identity at Saint Anselm that we need to do more for our global community and those who are suffering, and so that’s why we have our service trips; that’s why our service and solidarity trips come out of Campus Ministry.”

It was the great American poet Maya Angelou that once said, “God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us – in the dreariest and most dreaded moments – can see a possibility of hope.” In the wake of the destruction left behind by the hurricane season, many places have been seeing a lot of clouds lately. However, the generosity shown by Campus Ministry, the Meelia Center, and the Anselmian community at large will surely shine a little light on these devastated populations.

For those interesting in donating, collection boxes can be found in Campus Ministry, the Coffee Shop, the Mail Room, and during Sunday Masses in the Abbey Church. These services will be available up until Oct. 1. Any checks can be made out to Saint Anselm College with “hurricane relief” and either Catholic Relief Services or Winter Break Alternative in the memo.

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Campus Ministry conducts fundraiser to help areas devastated by hurricanes