Changing lives a dime at a time

If you’re trying to a find a quick and easy way to donate to relief efforts in Haiti, look no further than your next mocha latte or order of fries.
Just look for the loose change canisters next to the cash registers at your favorite on-campus eateries.
The canisters appeared at most dining locations on campus on Jan. 13, the day after the catastrophic 7.0 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, leaving Haiti’s capital in ruin.
“The fundraiser makes it very simple for students to support the cause from their own backyards,” sophomore Doug Bennett said.
This is not the first fundraising initiative prompted by auxiliary services and Chartwells. Every year the university participates in the United Way  campaign by placing loose change canisters in all retail establishments.
United Way is an organization dedicated to improving education, income and health in 45 countries and territories.
Money collected for Haiti relief will most likely be contributed to United Way’s worldwide disaster fund.
Despite the friendly competition between dining establishments during last semester’s United Way campaign, auxiliary services is not individually tracking donations by operation. While auxiliary services and Chartwells does not have a specific goal in mind of how much money they hope to collect for Haiti relief, the loose change collected throughout campus definitely adds up. Those tiny canisters can make a huge difference.
They are currently in the process of counting the donations.
“I’ve got to believe it’s going to be over a thousand [dollars],” director of auxiliary services, Anna M. Alvarez, said.
UM students often get involved in a variety of charitable causes.
“[The students] have always proven to be very generous to those in need,” Assistant Vice President of Auxiliary Services Mel Tenen said.
But that’s not all the university has accomplished in terms of relief efforts. The University of Miami Medical Bookstore has contributed 100 UM caps to be sent this weekend to the medical field personal treating the victims in Haiti.
“It’s a team effort,” Tenen said. “We’re all working together.”
UM has also donated dozens of miniature emergency generators to the relief efforts in Haiti, in addition to gloves, medial scissors, tweezers, stethoscopes, scrub hats and masks.
Just remember that your spare change doesn’t have to weigh down your pockets or purse, noisily clanging together as you head from class to class. Your extra quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies could help provide much needed aid to the hundreds of thousands of victims of the earthquake in Haiti.
For additional information on how to donate, or for ways to volunteer, log on to and click the “Help Haiti Now” banner.

Sarah Hartnig may be contacted at

February 6, 2010


Sarah Hartnig

Contributing Columnist

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