CSB, SJU communities band together to help Bahamas

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October 4, 2019

Members of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University communities continue to contribute financially to relief efforts in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian.

Be it at a football game, celebrating Mass, buying a chai latte, selling old T-shirts or donating blood, Bennies and Johnnies are pulling together to support this worthy cause.

A student-led fundraiser organized by the Archipelago Caribbean Association is benefitting the Hurricane Dorian Relief Fund, a highly rated nonprofit based in the Bahamas that has received the endorsement of the GlobalGiving Foundation. It was established immediately following the natural disaster.

A total of $44,395 has been raised as of Oct. 4.

There’s also been a number of special projects set up at both schools to collect money.

• CSB Campus Ministry collected donations at Masses Sept. 8 and Sept. 15, raising $230.

“We’ll do another (collection) in a couple of weeks,” said Sr. Sharon Nohner, OSB, director of CSB Campus Ministry.

• Fans attending the SJU football game against Gustavus Adolphus on Sept. 21 contributed $3,850. The effort was led by SJU’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), but SJU Residential Life, SJU Student Senate and the Bahamian student population assisted.

“I personally was surprised by the total collected,” said SJU senior Andrew Smith, president of SAAC. “I would like to thank all those who personally volunteered their time to the fundraising efforts and all those who donated to the fundraising efforts.”

“This truly will make a difference to those affected in the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian and shows our communities support and love for the CSB/SJU Bahamian student population,” Smith added

• SJU Campus Ministry collected donations during Masses on Sept. 21 (following the football game) and the Sunday Student Liturgy Sept. 22. A total of $1,206.48 was raised at the two Masses.

That money will be donated to the Nassau Archdiocese, said Margaret Nuzzolese Conway, director of SJU Campus Ministry, “because our faith calls us to charity and justice, particularly where suffering is greatest,” she said.

“We’re proud of the community for coming together to support our brothers and sisters in the Bahamas and are most grateful to the Bahamian student leaders who have led and inspired the efforts,” Nuzzolese Conway added.

• The T-Spot, a student-run organization within the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship, had a “fall cleaning” of its old inventory – T-shirts, sweatshirts, crew cut sweaters and hoodies – in its storage area. The group gave away some items, but sold others.

A portion of the profits from the sale of the shirts – 25%, or $360 – was donated to Bahamian relief efforts

“Someone suggested that we donate part of what we (made),” said Parker Johnson, an SJU senior who is CEO of the T-Spot. “We all liked the idea right away and thought that idea would give people more of a reason to come out because they would be supporting a student-run company while helping their fellow Bennies and Johnnies.”

“Overall, it was amazing the support the students showed toward the victims of Hurricane Dorian, and everybody at T-Spot is just glad that we were able to contribute in some way,” said SJU senior Frank Zvanovec, CFO of T-Spot.

• The Schu at Alcuin Library gave 10% of each promotion drink (a chai latte) to hurricane relief from Sept. 9-13. A total of $69.78 was raised, which was given to the Archipelago Caribbean Association account.

• A blood drive was held Sept. 26 at the Great Hall, SJU. Blood received was donated to the Red Cross, which has a low blood supply after the devastating effects of Hurricane Dorian. Hundreds of blood drives were closed in the southern United States because of Hurricane Dorian, so there is a high demand for blood.