Days into the academic year as Hurricane Harvey barreled into Texas and moved north, Penn’s Student Intervention Services connected with the Registrar’s Office to identify students from the area in its path and notified each school to initiate student outreach. Following Harvey came Irma and then a series of earthquakes in Mexico and most recently Hurricane Maria. With each disaster, SIS continued to reach out to students impacted by the natural disasters, says its director, Sharon Smith. Each event brought a variety of disaster relief needs.
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We look at students individually to find out exactly what their needs are so that we can connect them to the appropriate offices and resources
In a Sept. 26 a University-wide memo, Penn President Amy Gutmann, along with Provost Wendell Pritchett and Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli, outlined on-campus resources for those impacted by the disasters.
Students Address Disaster Relief Needs:
The memo also recognized two highly successful student-led initiatives designed to bolster relief efforts in Mexico and Puerto Rico.
During its Hurricane Relief Project, the Greenfield Intercultural Center collected supplies which will be delivered to a shipping container in Virginia that will be sent to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Meanwhile, the Center continues to work with its students from Houston to identify ways to assist families there. Students are also exploring other ways to help with their counterparts in Puerto Rico and at the University of the Virgin Islands.
With each disaster, Penn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy posted recommendations for cash donations to “large organizations engaged in on-the-ground relief work” or “local, often smaller, organizations have knowledge and networks that allow them to quickly assess changing priorities and get help to many of the most vulnerable groups faster.” In the case of Hurricane Irma, for example, CHIP identified Feeding South Florida, an organization sending water and supplies to Florida Keys victims.
Read the full article on students addressing disaster relief needs by Jill DiSanto at Penn News
Looking for a way to get involved?
Learning with others and benchmarking are key steps towards becoming an impact giver. If you are interested in giving with impact for Disaster Relief, take a look at these events, galas, conferences and volunteering opportunities to connect with individuals like you.
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