Thursday, February 10, 2005

Campus community raises nearly $3,000 for Tsunami relief

by Campus Relations staff

Members of the campus community have proved once again that “UIS cares” by contributing nearly $3,000 to aid victims of the December 26 Tsunami.

One effort was coordinated through the UIS chapter of UPI Support Staff Local 4100. Normajean Niebur, chapter president, explained that the idea arose when she and her husband decided to use the contents of a change jar, usually reserved for savings bonds for their grandsons, as the basis for a collection.

“Our grandsons live in nice homes, with warm clothing and plenty of food,” she said. “So we decided to take what change we had and use it as the beginning of a fund raiser.”

Margot Duley, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, issued a challenge to match any donation made by staff in her college, up to $1,000. Mailroom staff Terry Pryor issued another challenge of a day’s pay.

“Some donations were larger than others,” said Niebur, “but it all added up. People seemed to drop whatever change they had in our container as they left the Food Emporium. I was really impressed on how people came forward.”

This effort ran throughout January and ultimately raised more than $2,500, which will be donated to the American Red Cross.

Another campus effort was sponsored by the Muslim Student Association, which held a week long collection in the PAC lobby and sold bumper stickers to raise more funds. Diana Dobie, MSA president, said, “We aren’t sure of the total at this time. The Red Cross collected the canisters, and they will count the money and let us know how much was raised.”

Dobie also said that MSA’s sale of buttons in the local Islamic community has brought in about $250 so far. “We still have buttons available if anyone is interested in purchasing them,” she said.

Dobie added that the MSA is planning a community night at UIS on February 19 and Tsunami buttons will be available at that event as well. A bazaar and bake sale to raise additional funds is in the planning stages.

Perhaps Niebur summed it up best: “We were able to accomplish a very good thing.”

For more information, contact Niebur at nnieb1@uis.edu, Dobie at Ddobi01s@uis.edu, or MSA adviser Baker Siddiquee at bsidq1@uis.edu.

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