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Students brainstorm relief ideas

Discussing everything from change jars to a charity concert, a handful of enthusiastic women met Sept. 6 in the Tea Shop to brainstorm fundraising ideas for Hurricane Katrina relief.

Martha Braithwaite, a junior, began by sending an e-mail to student-news on Sept. 1 to see if anyone was interested in discussing fundraising possibilities. She received a few responses and scheduled a meeting in the Tea Shop for the following Tuesday.

Among the attendees was ASMC President Carolina Salazar. The attendees brainstormed ideas large and small, from t-shirts to a raffle, and they plan to start a club in order to receive funding for activities.

“I just want to make sure Mills is involved,” said Braithwaite. “I don’t want it to be something we forget about a few months from now.”

The group wants to involve other clubs as well, to encourage each to hold its own hurricane relief fundraiser. There are also plans to bring speakers to campus, if interest is shown. If possible, the group would also like to send volunteers to the shelter that is currently being set up for refugees at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco as well as locations in Texas and the New Orleans area.

Braithwaite and one other member attempted to meet with president Holmgren during her office hours on Sept. 6, but the president did not have time. According to Braithwaite, the President told them that the school was planning an initiative, and that they would be in touch. An all-campus meeting has been planned for Sept. 19.

Other students have been making individual efforts to do what they can. Posts with subjects such as “Fundraising Idea” and “Hurricane Katrina relief” show up on student-news daily, with links to the latest news stories and places to donate money and goods. On Sept. 13, Kat Stavis posted an e-mail to student-news informing readers of a fundraiser at Parkway Theater on Oct. 6. “100 percent goes to hurricane relief at AmeriCares,” Stavis wrote.

Mills alumni have something to contribute as well. On Sept. 4, Michelle Summa, class of ’05, posted a fundraising idea involving some friendly class competition. “How much change is in your pocket?” she wrote. “Or under the cushions of your couch? In your car’s ashtray?”

“Mills has the potential to be a great resource,” said Braithwaite.

For more information, contact Martha Braithwaite at