Haiti tragedy sends ripples through school community

By Rohan Andresen ’12 and Ian C. Beck ’12

Immediately after an earthquake devastated Haiti, students and staff members at Brophy heard the cry for help and banded together to raise thousands of dollars through a multitude of fundraisers and created a vigil to commemorate the people of Haiti.

The recent earthquake in Haiti left hundreds of thousands dead, missing or badly hurt. Even more are left without homes and without adequate food and water.

As aid services from all over the world flock to the small island country to help them, the ripple effect of graciousness and caring has reached the Brophy community with great fervor.

“I’ve just been moved and saddened and really touched by the images that have been coming out of Haiti,” said Principal Mr. Bob Ryan.

Hoopcoming raised $2,250 for Haiti relief and Brophy hosted a series of events designed to provide awareness of the tragedy and raise funds.

Earthquake Relief T-shirts have been on sale since Thursday, Jan. 28 for $10 and sixth period classes collected pecuniary donations for a few Thursdays in early February.

Funds that were raised were given to three organizations: the Jesuit Refugee Services, Friends of the Orphans and Health through Communications. 

There was also a continuous daily vigil that occurred at the “Crown of Thorns” statue in the mall. Members of the Brophy community stood before the memorial erected there from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m., praying and standing in solidarity with glowing candles in hand.  

An overnight vigil occurred on Wednesday, Feb. 10 that featured prayers, conversations and presentations.

Teach-ins were also scheduled throughout February so students would learn more about the current situation in Haiti, as well as what Haiti was like before the earthquake.

Mr. Ryan said it was essential to get involved in the relief saying that “we should take the cross off the walls” if Brophy, as a community built on the principle of Man for Others, did anything less.

He also added that the relief needed in Haiti was beyond simply a check or a monetary donation but also involved prayer, awareness and understanding. He stressed that we needed to allow the earthquake to impact ourselves and let it transform our lives.

Keon Seif-Naraghi ’10 was a leader in the organization of the vigil and other relief efforts.

“We wanted to show the world and ourselves that Brophy isn’t just a community that just watches things and donates money,” Seif-Naraghi said.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has come to the vigil,” he said.

Both Mr. Ryan and Seif-Naraghi urged the community to sustain relief efforts even after the hype of the situation goes away.

Both of the writers on this article participated in the Brophy Vigil but both excluded their personal experiences from their report.