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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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Direct Relief looking for donations from SBCC students


The non-profit organization Direct Relief is turning to City College students for donations to raise funds for Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Hannah Rael, media relations and communication associate, gave a presentation to the Associated Student Senate about raising funds to supply the victims of natural disasters with urgent medical care, aids and assistance.

The Goleta-based Direct Relief is an international charity organization aimed to support and improve the lives of people directly affected by poverty and natural disasters. The organization has 1,100 clinics and health-center partners in all 50 U.S. States. They also maintain well-developed relationships with other centers in 70 countries outside the U.S.

The organization’s main objective is to find people working in the countries impacted by the disasters and work with them, providing and delivering aid.

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The funds they raise serve mainly for financial and material contributions, and shipping.

“However, there are shipments of medicine that leave our warehouse every single day – disaster or not,” said Rael. “If SBCC students wanted to work together on a more organized campaign or event, we would be happy to help with that at any time of year.”

Student Trustee Cristian Alvarez was open to the idea of working with them.

“I definitely want to collaborate with them as a Senate,” said Alvarez. “Not only now, but also for future events.”

Direct Relief publishes its financial documents on its website, so donors can see where the money goes. Even the shipments are being tracked by an interactive online map.

“The donation process is transparent,” Rael said, explaining that the way charities spend their money can be amenable or controversial. “We are bound to honor donors’ intent.”

The Associated Student Senate decided to lead a postcard campaign before the end of the semester, presenting some images of what is going on at the sites impacted by the typhoon.

“I like the postcards idea” said President Elie Katzenson. “It’s got soul.”

The senate decided to focus on the postcard campaign for now, but they expressed their positive sentiment towards future collaborations with the organization.

“It is not just about raising money,” said Rael. “It’s about following what we do and staying connected to us.”

To support the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan, the Personal Packing Event will be held from 9 to 11 a.m., Thursday Nov. 28, at the Direct Relief Warehouse on 27 South La Patera Lane.
City College students are welcome to attend and offer their time to help make packs for families in the Philippines.

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