October 25, 2010
Leading the effort to raise funds for the victims of flooding in Pakistan are College of Wooster students (from left) Maaz Khan, Lauren Grimanis, Bilal Paracha, Eliot Kamen, Brandon Jacobs, and Bastiaan van de Lagemaat.
WOOSTER, Ohio — When word of the catastrophic flooding in Pakistan reached The College
of Wooster’s campus earlier in the semester, students responded with great
compassion and generosity so that the victims would not be forgotten or
Scores of students made donations, while others came up with ideas of their own, including Brandon Jacobs, a senior communication studies and sociology double major from Burlington, N.J., and the head of SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee). He helped to organize a canned-food challenge between students from Wooster and North Coast Athletic Conference rival Ohio Wesleyan when the two football teams met on Sept. 25. A total of 2,000 items were donated, and while
Wooster won the game, Ohio Wesleyan won the challenge, but the real victory came in providing desperately needed relief for those affected by the floods.
Elsewhere on campus, the Wooster Volunteer Network voted to designate funds from its annual “Nearly Naked Run” this week (Oct. 27) when runners will strip down to the bare necessities and race around the academic quad in an effort to raise money. In addition, students have organized a “Poker for Pakistan” night on Nov. 19 with proceeds going to the flood victims.
“Our students wanted to do something to help the flood victims,” said Lauren Grimanis, a junior self-designed major from Wayland, Mass., and co-chair of the Wooster Volunteer Network. “Students at Wooster really care about global issues like this, and we all wanted to have an impact in some way.”
Bastiaan van de Lagemaat, a senior communication studies major and chair of campus council, expressed a similar point of view. “I have been very impressed by the response of Wooster students,” he said. “I know most of the Pakistani students on campus, and all of them have brought up the floods in conversation, but the American student leaders have also taken the initiative to help support these efforts. It has not been easy to communicate the need of the Pakistani people because of the many other disasters around the world, but Wooster students have shown that they care
about the people in Pakistan and that they understand how terrible the destruction is that has taken place.”
Students are also being encouraged to text a $10 donation to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and later in the semester they plan to work with Wooster’s Soup & Bread program to raise additional funds.
The organizers for this campus-wide effort are Maaz Tasneem Khan and Mohammad Bilal Paracha, both seniors business economics major from Karachi, an area not directly affected by the flooding. “We really feel good about doing something for humanity,” Khan said. “The main thing is awareness. We want to encourage student involvement and connect them with the proper relief agencies.”
To donate, text “SWAT” to 50555 to donate $10/SMS to UNHCR; make arrangements through PayPal, or send a contribution to any of the following agencies: OXFAM, UNICEF, The
World Food Programme, or the American Red Cross.
1189 Beall Avenue, Wooster, Ohio 44691. (330) 263-2000
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