During this emotional time, many students are wondering how they can directly help victims of the terrorist attacks, their families, and the firefighters, policemen and volunteers who have worked tirelessly this past week.
Here is a list of events, drives and sales that are going on around Williamstown in which students can participate.
Many students have been trying to give blood in the Williamstown area. However, according to Alexa Holleran ’04, who is running a campus blood drive, it would be more helpful to wait until late October.
“While this may seem like a long time, just sitting and feeling useless, we will actually be of more help to the Red Cross by waiting, as they will be in more desperate need at that point then they are right now.” She explained that blood has a shelf life of only 42 days, so the scheduled blood drive at Williams will take place just in time to help replenish dwindling supplies. In order to allow the maximum possible number of people to donate blood, members of the Williams community can sign up to give blood today, tomorrow and Thursday in Baxter from 11-1.
The Salvation Army ran a drive this past weekend for clothing, non-perishable food, blankets, and other items to help the rescue workers.
Rirchard Spalding, chaplain of the College, spoke of a drive with drop off points at the Methodist Church at the corner of Water and Main Streets, and at Stop & Shop and Wal-Mart, both in North Adams. Items needed are gauze and other medical supplies (no needles or medicine), latex gloves, surgical masks, blankets, towels, work gloves, individual water bottles and non-perishable food items. Although these might not be items that students have readily available, monetary donations are also welcome.
In addition, it was suggested that cards could be placed in Baxter Hall for students to sign. These cards would be given to firefighters and NYPD sending condolences and support.
Various events and sales will be taking place on campus to raise money for the Red Cross, victims’ families, etc.
Healy Thompson ’03, and Emily Simons ’04 are planning on designing and selling t-shirts with the intent of donating money to various groups, such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.
According to Thompson, “the purpose of the t-shirts is twofold: we hope to raise considerable funds to aid in the relief efforts (the Chaplain’s Office is paying for most of the t-shirt costs so that we will make more profits) and we hope to offer the community something that they can wear to express solidarity with one another.”
Rev. Rick Spalding, chaplain, suggested donating money to various foundations as a useful means of helping out. That way, the foundation can “get what they need when they need it the most.” Nancy Roseman, dean of the College, recommended a number of foundations such as The American Red Cross (www.redcross.org or call 800-HELP-NOW), Catholic Charities USA (www.catholiccharities.org), United Jewish Communities (www.uja.org), The United Way (http://national.unitedway.org/crisis.cfm), The New York Times Neediest Case Fund (http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/13/nyregion/13NEED.html), and the National Fund for Vicitms Assistance (http://www.guidestar.org/partners/helping/index_ext.jsp).
Also, donations cans for the Red Cross will be placed at various businesses on Spring Street and on campus. Also, according to Holleran, students will be going door-to-door next weekend, and checks made out to the American Red Cross are being accepted at the Chaplain’s office.
Students have had numerous ideas for events and fundraisers. If you have one, contact Rev. Spalding or Dean Roseman.