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Mills Joins in Recent Tsunami Relief Effort

Taylor Conrad

The largest earthquake in 40 years occurred in the Indian Ocean near Sumatra, stirring a series of giant waves that went crashing beyond the shores of a dozen countries, killing over 250,000 people on Dec. 26.

Mills has joined in the worldwide effort since the tsunami to raise relief funds for the survivors of the disaster.

Senior Ebony Lubarsky has put a call out to students to start a tsunami relief fund.

“As of late, I am continuously circulating an ‘urgent memorandum’ to student-news, various on-campus organizations including the alumnae association, ASMC, and President Holmgren,” Lubarsky said. “I hope in the near future, the e-mail will generate both awareness and commitment to collectively take action.”

Lubarsky feels that it’s an important cause because it warrants immediate and universal attention.

“Establishing a fundraiser for the victims of the tsunami in South Asia and East Africa would be a natural extension of the spirit of the Mills community.”

“Furthermore, organizing a relief fund for victims of the tsunami will unify students-at-large in a way that's never been achieved before,” Lubarsky said. “We should all take time out of our schedules and collectively take action against a cause that's greater than ourselves – and thus epitomize the essence of that which is Mills.”

The campus bookstore, belonging to the Follet Corporation bookstore chain, is involved in the company’s donation drive.

“We have about 700 stores,” said Mike Sellers, manager of the Mills College Bookstore, “and we are just asking for donations at the register. Follet Corporation will cut a check to the American Red Cross Relief Fund for 100 percent of the proceeds.”

According to Sellers, Follet Corporation raised $300,000. Over the three weeks of participation, the Mills Bookstore has raised $660.

President Holmgren said the College is trying to organize a fundraiser to support the UN Population Fund, the largest international fund for population and reproductive health programs, headed by alumna and Trustee Thoraya Obaid.

Efforts have been seen around the world, as countries have one by one pledged millions of dollars. Non-profit and non-governmental groups have also joined in on the relief efforts from donating food and water to medical supplies and clothing.

The highly publicized NBC benefit “Tsunami Aid: A concert of Hope,” which aired on Jan. 15, brought out stars like Madonna, Elton John, Brad Pitt and Halle Berry and raised $18.3 million.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said on Wednesday that the $1.2 billion that has been pledged worldwide is sufficient to meet the costs of the entire Red Cross Tsunami Relief.

All the donations to the Red Cross from Dec. 26 until Jan. 31 will be designated for the tsunami relief.