Indiana University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean studies and the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation used Wednesday’s basketball game to begin collecting supplies for the relief effort in Haiti.
IU graduate Andley Kerlegrand was born in Lakayè, Haiti, a city just 20 miles north of the devastated capital of Port-au-Prince. He directs traffic for IU basketball games including Wednesday’s, which helped promote IU’s “cram-the-container” relief-effort for his home country.
“It’s really sad that it took that earthquake for people to wake up to see Haiti and help because we’re like right there on the corner, you know what I’m saying? We’re not far away,” Kerlegrand said.
Bradley Levinson says he hopes the relief effort will bring Haiti to the forefront of people’s minds.
“Not just make this a one-time, feel-good sort of drop-off, but to use it as an opportunity to put Haiti on people’s mental radar so to speak and keep it there for quite some time,” Levinson said.
“You’ve got several million people in Port-au-Prince that have no structures, no place to live. They’ve got water, they’re putting food there, we know there are problems, but what we’re looking for are survival items,” added director of Office of Underwater Science in HPER, Charles Beeker.
A self-described “stock-up queen,” Lynette Carlson rummaged through her closet for items to donate.
“I had bought a little portable gas grill that I was going to cook hot dogs on this summer and never even got it out of the box,” Carlson said. “When I saw that they could use propane grills, I thought it’s easy I don’t even have to package it. It’s still in the original box!”
As for Andley Kerlegrand, he plans to return to Haiti to help in any way he can. “Whenever I decide to go, I’m going to make sure I get a one-way ticket because I don’t want to know when I’m coming back.”