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Berks students support Haiti with fundraiser at On the Border

In response to the devastation in Haiti, Penn State Berks students have formed a campus organization called "We Are... Helping Haiti @ Berks." The group, in conjunction with the college's Intercultural Communication:Theory & Research class, will hold its first fundraising event at On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina on Tuesday, February 2. On The Border has agreed to donate 10% of the day's earnings-but only for those who mention the We Are... Helping Haiti @ Berks student group.

The class, which is part of the Communication Arts and Sciences' baccalaureate degree program, is also  working with two other local restaurants (Moe's Southwest Grill of Wyomissing and Issac's Restaurant & Deli) to hold similar fundraising events. Information about these events will be forthcoming.

The group's first fundraising effort, "canning" on campus Thursday, January 21 and Friday, January 22, was a tremendous success, raising $1,427.93 for relief efforts.

In addition, the student group is planning several other fundraising activities. For Valentine's Day, they plan to sell packets of handmade greeting cards and gift sets for men and women. Other plans include selling Help Haiti apparel and holding events such as a Haiti Awareness Week, a spades tournament, and a faculty vs. student sports challenge.

The students are working to determine the most effective charities to support. We Are... Helping Haiti @ Berks will choose the charity that sends the highest percentage of each dollar directly to Haiti and does not have a specific connection to any religious group or political affiliation.

Led by Global Studies major Brittany Chiles, the group is working with Penn State University Park in establishing a unified program throughout the Penn State system for aiding the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

"I have a few very dear friends whose families are possibly suffering from the catastrophic earthquake events in Haiti," states Chiles. "This vicarious experience of tragedy, unrest, and urgency has moved me to create a community effort to help Haiti."

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