After a devastating hurricane swept across the country of Haiti, many organizations made efforts to offer support. Keene State College was no exception.
Cheshire Academy for Lifelong Learning (CALL) program participant Joe Mucci built a wooden box to fill with food, hygienic supplies and clothing.
He then teamed up with the brothers of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE), who spread the word about the box stationed in the KSC Young Student Center front lawn from Monday, Oct. 17 to Friday, Oct. 21.
It shipped off to Haiti on Friday evening at 6 p.m.
Mucci said this is a response we should all have. “They’re part of our culture, they’re our friends. There’s a blood connection, “ he said.
Mucci said he actually does have a best friend who lives in Haiti, and explained his friend is okay, but stressed that many others aren’t.
“People are displaced and over 400 have passed (away),” he said. Mucci said he had other supplies prior to this box being built.
He said, “I was watching the news on Hurricane Matthew and immediately drive food up to Manchester where they have the first Baptist Haitian Church, and they were collecting food [to donate].”
He said he hopes sending this second donation will propel the KSC community to respond effectively. “I know the Keene State students have big hearts for this big box,” he said.
KSC senior and TKE Vice President Dan Keady was among his brothers earlier this month when they slept outside for a week.
The event was called TKE in a Box. This was to promote homelessness.
According to an article written in The Equinox by Student Life Editor MacKenzie Clarke, “This year, [Keady] said, they raised around $550 and approximately 330 cans of food compared to last year of approximately 190.”
Keady said participating in this event changed his perspective on life. “After you live in a box for a week, you realize how blessed you are,” he said. “There are others with far less than I have.” Keady said he’s always liked helping others.
“This is right up my alley,” he said before spray painting a side of the box to be used for donations to Haiti.
TKE President and KSC senior Aaron Williams said he was just walking outside and happen to see this new event unfolded in motion. He said it was great to be working with another box.
“It (a box) seems to be a happy medium for us,” Williams said. “A box is a good display because it can be more engaging; people can actually see the work.”
Williams said it’s beneficial to use the Student Center lawn because it brings about awareness.
“We can talk to people, ask them, ‘Hey did you hear what happened in Haiti?’ Unfortunately, not everyone knows,” he said. Williams said that this effort isn’t just meant to be a “simple fix.”
He said, “Greek Life is involved in the community. This demonstrates [that] we care about worldly affairs.”
When asked if TKE has other community events planned for the future, he said yes. “Maybe not a box, but another physical display. Keep your eyes out,” he said.
KSC first-year Megan Tilton said she was impressed with Mucci and TKE’s efforts to help a neighboring country.
“It looks good for our country,” she said. Tilton said she appreciates that TKE and Mucci “put their hearts into situations.” She continued, “I’m just glad they’re not living in this [box].”
Dorothy England can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org