By Eric Villanueva ’11
For the last several weeks eight people stood abreast with the The Crown of Thorns statue in the Brophy Mall.
Eight faces, some half-hidden by bandages, stared from glossy pictures with tired and tearful eyes and hungry mouths.
Since Jan. 28, many students, parents and faculty members volunteered in one hour shifts to stand in solidarity with these and all the people of Haiti after the earthquake on Jan. 12.
However, I truly believe more than 1,200 students plus an odd number of faculty and staff have continuously maintained the vigil in their thoughts, hearts and prayer.
What brings out these emotions and collaborative relief efforts by the community?
Through buck-a-jeans days, Hoopcoming and basketball game collections alone, students and faculty have donated more than $4,500 towards Haitian earthquake relief efforts through Jesuit Refugee Services.
“Anytime there is a disaster, they (JRS) are really active in that, and they have been working in Haiti even prior to that,” said Assistant Principal of Ministry Mrs. Kim Baldwin.
According to Mrs. Baldwin, some of the collection will also go to Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos, which has numerous operations in Haiti, including a pediatric hospital that collapsed during the earthquake.
Adding collections during sixth period on Jan. 23 and Feb. 4, the donations grossed more than $10,000.
The outpouring by the school community is ineffable and proves yet again why a Jesuit education is so different from the rest.
But relief efforts are also seen across the nation.
Soccer moms, super models and sports car teams alike have come together to support their fellow human beings thousands of miles away, but with a worldview very different from their own.
For celebrities, the “A” in “A”-List has changed from “adoption” to “answering” phones on celebrity telethons that help to raise money for Haitian earthquake victims.
The “Hope for Haiti Now” telethon, which aired on a number of networks and Web sites Jan. 22, raised $57 million and counting, according to a CBS News article.
With bodies lining the streets and more than 1 million Haitians estimated to be living in tent cities, the millions of dollars in aid cannot come soon enough.
“We urgently need aid to arrive. I can’t say how urgently,” Dr. Jean Jazon of City Med Hospital in Port-au-Prince said in an Independent article Jan. 17. “Not tomorrow, today. Yesterday, even.”
With the rescue of a 16-year-old girl from the rubble 15 days after the earthquake reported by the BBC News, rescues operations have come to a close, but the relief efforts will need to be enduring on the poverty-stricken island.
This is not a plea for everyone to empty their pockets; rather, a call to stand with your fellow man.
With the worldwide support surprising by all accounts, Brophy has become another small part of that support where every piece adds to a greater whole.
As Dr. Jazon expressed an over arching emotion in Haiti, they needed help in Haiti yesterday, and they will definitely need continued aid and support tomorrow.
Brophy has answered this call to solidarity.
Who knows, our efforts, though they may seem insignificant, may become an example to other schools and communities nationwide.
With more schools and communities around the nation outreaching, international opinions of the United States will change, while simultaneously raising money for earthquake victims.
This is a global community and we are doing our part to help those in need.