GSU students rally to help Haiti

Natalia Daies heads Georgia Southern's Panhellenic Council.
Natalia Daies heads Georgia Southern's Panhellenic Council.

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - The destruction and devastation from the massive earthquake last week in Haiti grabbed Natalia Daies' attention. She heads Georgia Southern's Panhellenic Council and saw needs beyond anyone's imagination.

"It is hard to look at the pictures and even understand how the people feel," she said.

She said response on campus took off almost instantly.

"People were stopping me on the Pedestrium saying somebody said you're involved in Haiti. I want to get involved too," she added. "As soon as we had a third organization, they all started pouring in."

The benefit Thursday night will include choirs, bands, speakers and a candlelight vigil. The money they raise will go to the American Red Cross.

Local directors say the tragedy has touched a younger generation.

"We're used to seeing older volunteers frankly. What we're seeing on this particular event is high school students, college students contacting us saying we want to help," explained Lynn Bowen, director of the Bulloch County chapter of the American Red Cross.

"Not only do they have the information, they feel empowered to do something. Students today feel more like global citizens," explained Dr. Annemarie Siefert of the university office of student affairs.

It has moved GSU professor Daphney Pierre, a native of Haiti.

"I started crying. It was so touching to see them so dedicated to helping those in Haiti," she said.

Fraternities, sororities and other organizations, 31 in all, have joined the cause.

"It makes my heart smile to see Georgia Southern students working together for something a lot bigger than us," Natalia shared.

An effort that could help so many so far away. The gathering will take place at 7pm Thursday in the GSU Russell Student Union ballroom. The public is invited.

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