Pitt plans Haiti disaster relief program

By Lindsay Carroll

As estimates arrive of thousands dead in Haiti after Tuesday’s historic earthquake, Pitt hopes… As estimates arrive of thousands dead in Haiti after Tuesday’s historic earthquake, Pitt hopes the campus community can help victims.

The University plans to distribute 500 five-gallon buckets throughout campus at offices and residence halls to collect hygiene products, according to a news release. A local chapter of an international health and education charity will transport the items to Haiti by Feb. 1.

Pitt will work with the Brother’s Brother Foundation, which is based in Pittsburgh, to collect the supplies.

Items needed include baby or wet wipes, non-liquid soap, wash cloths, hand towels, toothpaste, combs and brushes, according to the release. Shampoo and other materials that could leak will not be accepted.

Karen Dempsey, vice president of development and administration for the foundation, said Pitt students helped the organization when the tsunami occurred after an earthquake in the Indian Ocean in 2004. She said Pitt and its community have worked with the foundation for “many years.”

She emphasized the gratitude of the organization’s staff and board members for Pitt’s support through its employees and staff.

G. Reynolds Clark, Pitt’s vice chancellor for community initiatives, said it was “only natural” for Pitt to respond to the crisis with Pitt’s Bucket Brigade for Haiti, the program’s formal name, because of the campus’ international programs and students.

“News of the devastating earthquake in Haiti has caused much concern throughout our University community,” Clark said in the release.

Dempsey said she did not need to elaborate on the devastation that has occurred in Haiti.

“I think all you need to do is go and read some of the stories on MSN,” she said.

People who wish to donate money to the Brother’s Brother Foundation can contribute online at brothersbrother.org/donateform.htm.