WHUR 96.3 FM "Holding on to Haiti," Raises More Than $40,000

By Andre Nicholson
University News
Friday, January 29, 2010

WASHINGTON – The 23-degree temperatures did not deter students from braving the cold and volunteering to collect donations for the three-day fundraising event "Holding on to Haiti,” sponsored by WHUR 96.3 FM.

The three-day total for the fundraiser is $42,194. The on-air outreach took place from Wednesday, Jan. 27 to Friday, Jan. 29. One hundred percent of the funds raised during the event will support two organizations – Doctors without Borders and Save the Children.

“The broadcast may end at 3 p.m. today, but the job of helping Haiti does not,” said WHUR radio personality Triscina Grey. “It is estimated that it could take up to 10 years to get Haiti back on its feet. What ever you can give matters.”

Students who formed a “Bucket Brigade” collected most of the donations. The volunteers stood curbside with buckets so donors could simply drop off their contributions without exiting their vehicles. Persons from around the nation and globe also gave generously by donating online at Howard.edu.

Howard University President Sidney Ribeau lauded the efforts of the University community during his live interview with WHUR.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the HU community, alumni, faculty, students, and staff,” Ribeau said. “There has just been a ground swell of support for Haiti. The students put together a fundraising concert, and we have faculty members from the College of Medicine and the School of Law who have got involved to offer their support. It is what Howard has always done and will continue to do.”

Freshman Madeline Horn, a Bucket Brigade volunteer, said the overall unity on campus is what propelled her to give back.

“Although we are freshman, we are still part of Howard and it has instilled such a sense of pride in us,” Horn said, “If there are people out here that need our help we should help them.”

The individual and collective efforts have been critical to the success of this fundraiser. Throughout the process donors, organizers and volunteers committed themselves to being a part of the short and long term Haiti recovery.

“We have the best listeners on the planet and their generosity and giving spirit never ceases to amaze me,” said Jim Watkins, general manager, WHUR and WHUR-World. “We know that the situation in Haiti tugs at the heart strings of the world and that it’s going to take many fundraisers to help place Haiti on its feet. This three-day effort was not a ‘one and done’ for us.”

Howard University Radio is committed to keeping Haiti in the forefront. In the coming weeks, WHUR reporter Harold Fisher will be heading to Haiti to assess and report on the conditions as well as the needs on the ground.

“Rest assure, WHUR and WHUR-WORLD are ‘Holding On to Haiti,’ today, tomorrow, and beyond,” Watkins added.

The Haitian flag bears the words “Unity is Power,” the outpouring of support at Howard and around the world has once again proven just that.