ECU Haiti donation

East Central University President John Hargrave (front row, far left) joins India native Sana Iqball as she presents a check for $1,326.91 to Tamara Sharp, Pontotoc County branch manager for the American Red Cross. ECU organizations raised the money to help with earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. Also on hand for the presentation were members of ECU’s International Connection Club and the Crew, which helped organize fundraisers, including Ke Yin Natsumi of Penang, Malaysia (front row, far right), Patrick Tadlock of Elmore City (back row), Megan Hensley of Mounds, adviser Jerry Studebaker, Ezekiel Kissorio of Eldoret, Kenya, and Max Mauser of Munich, Germany.


When the devastating earthquake hit Haiti in January, Sana Iqbal, who was born in India, remembered the desperate need for assistance after a major earthquake hit her country several years ago.

“I knew how important it was for them to get help,” said Iqbal, an international student at East Central University.

She was ready to join other ECU students to help raise money to be sent to Haiti through the American Red Cross. After several fundraising events, ECU student organizations presented a check for $1,326.91 to Tamara Sharp, Pontotoc County branch manager for the Heart of Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross.

“On behalf of the American Red Cross, we want to say we are extremely proud of ECU students,” Sharp said. “We have had requests from the Haiti office of the Red Cross and we try to fill those requests. They are mainly asking for money.”

Sharp said it is not cost effective to gather, pack and pay for shipping items to Haiti and that money is what is needed.

Jerry Studebaker, director of international students and adviser of the International Connection Club, called a meeting of representatives of student organization on Jan. 21 to map out a plan for Haiti relief efforts. Organizations later emailed him 43 ideas for raising funds. The list of organizations willing to help was turned over to the Student Senate and the International Connection Club.

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