CSUN starts Katrina aid efforts

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Donating money to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina is not a problem for junior liberal studies major Kelly Golliher.

Like many people, Golliher said she was heartbroken over the suffering and the five-day wait for federal aid that parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama endured last week.

“The country’s kind of lagging in taking care of our own people,” she said.

Golliher will have the chance to help starting this Thursday as CSUN has developed plans to raise $500,000 in five days for victims of the affected areas.

Everyone will be asked to donate $15 to aid recovery efforts, said Vicki Allen, the Matador Involvement Center’s assistant director for student involvement.

“I didn’t want us to shoot small. I wanted us to shoot big,” said Allen, who spearheaded the fundraising idea.

Student Development and International Programs, Associated Students, the Center of Disabilities and a few other organizations plan on helping with the fundraiser, but all of CSUN is expected to get involved, Allen said.

The concept for the fundraiser was introduced Sept. 2, Allen said.

Boxes will be set up at four locations on campus: at the University Student Union in front of Subway; the Business Education Quad; the Sierra Center outside the Freudian Sip; and at the Matador Bookstore Walkway.

Students, faculty and staff can donate using cash, checks or money order from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sept. 8 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 9. Donations will continue from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Sept. 12-14.

“Somebody’s got to step in, and I think all of us as human beings have that obligation,” said Debra Hammond, executive director of the USU.

The American Red Cross will receive the proceeds and use it as it is needed.

“I’m confident that we’ll be able to raise the half million dollars,” she said, adding that she hopes donations will balance out with those who cannot afford to give $15 and those who can afford more.

There will be a measuring system set up outside the Matador Bookstore walkway that will record the daily progress of donations, Hammond said.

Off-campus companies will help out with various aspects of the fundraiser, but campus volunteers are still needed.

“We’re just encouraging everybody to come out,” Hammond said.

Students who can’t afford the $15 can give smaller donations, she said.

“No amount is too little,” Hammond said. “Whatever the amount of change in your pocket is, that’s what we’re talking about.”

This fundraiser is just the beginning of helping out with recovery efforts, Hammond said.

“We see this as a continuing effort. It’s not a one shot deal in our mind,” she said, adding that some organizations would like to have a blood drive or another fundraiser.

Curtis Wynkoop, senior liberal studies major, said he is glad CSUN got involved in the fundraising process.

Wynkoop has already contributed to aid for Hurricane Katrina victims to the American Red Cross, he said, but added that it is still a possibility that he might donate again.

“If they make it easy for students to donate, that would definitely help out,” he said.

Golliher said she hopes the $500,000 mark will be reached.

“People are afraid that if they donate things that it’s not really going to causes,” she said, but added that she thinks people at CSUN are “really feeling for these people.”

People who want to help with the efforts can call 677-3260.

Samuel Richard can be reached at samuel.richard@csun.edu.