Relief at Smith: A Message from President
On behalf of
Smith College, I offer our support and sympathy to everyone
affected by the disaster in Haiti. None of our students were
in the nation at the time of the initial earthquake January
12, but several have family and friends who have been affected
by the disaster.
Tragically, two members of the
Smith community perished that day. Please join me in keeping
the loved ones of Lisa Mbele-Mbong ’93
and Ericka Chambers Norman ’91 in
your thoughts and prayers. Both women worked in Port-au-Prince
for the United Nations.
In the aftermath of the tragedy,
I am heartened to share that the Smith community has come
together in an outpouring of support. During winter break,
staff, faculty and students gathered at the Helen Hills Hills
Chapel for a service of prayer for and remembrance of all
those affected. As students returned to campus this
week, we again joined in solidarity for a candlelight vigil.
As I write this a number of Smith students are organizing
with the guidance of Jennifer Walters, dean of religious
life, to develop a Smith campaign as part of a larger Five
College Haiti relief effort. Updates on those efforts will
be posted here in the coming days.
One of our alumnae, who
has long been involved in improving the lives of the people
of Haiti, is Melinda Miles '98. Melinda co-founded KONPAY,
a not-for-profit organization focused on supporting sustainable,
Haitian-led solutions to environmental, social and economic
problems. The organization’s
blog now offers regular updates
from the nation on the progress of the relief efforts.
know that we join millions of people around the world whose
attention is directed at providing assistance to the nation
as it undertakes the daunting challenge of recovering and
rebuilding. In this challenging time, please know that there
are many Smith community members available to provide support,
including the counselors in Health Services.
Below are just a few of the
many organizations accepting donations for Haiti relief efforts: