AFTER LATEST EARTHQUAKE, STUDENTS QUICKLY ORGANIZE TO SEND AID
By Gemma Carretta, Staff Writer
Mexico City and its surrounding states were recently struck by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake on the 32nd anniversary of another deadly 8.0 magnitude quake.
Buildings collapsed, roads were destroyed, and an estimated 10,000 people were killed on Sept. 19, 1985. The recent earthquake is estimated to have caused 250 to 300 deaths while at least another 90 people were killed by several other earthquakes just this past month.
Lex Herrerias is a freshman at Mason and one of several students whose family and friends were directly affected by the earthquake.
“While nobody went missing in my family,” Herrerias said, “it took my family and I over an hour to find my mom.”
Many of the roads have been severely damaged, meaning no one could drive to where her mother worked to learn if she was alive.
“It was very scary,” according to Herrerias. “A lot of my family told me it was horrible.”
She continued, “but seeing how people rallied together to help each other made me feel really proud [to be] Mexican.”
The devastation that the earthquake brought to residents of central Mexico motivated the president of Mason’s chapter of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Donna Imadi, to lend a hand.
Imadi and the rest of her team have been hard at work this past month fundraising to help the relief efforts of several natural disasters that have recently hit North America, including the latest earthquake in Mexico. Imadi believes that it is her duty to help out in any way that she can.
“So far we’ve had three fundraising days outside SUB 1 and the MIX,” she said. The three fundraisers raised money for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Jose, and when the Sept. 17 earthquake hit, it was added to the list.
Imadi said that her group has been fundraising for five hours each day. “We raised over $600,” Imadi said.
What Mason’s UNICEF is doing is just one of many efforts to help residents of Mexico get back on their feet. In addition to the earlier fundraisers, Imadi is already helping to plan another event on Oct. 30 at North Plaza from 1-5 p.m. “There will be ten different co-sponsoring organizations, and one will be fundraising for Mexico.”
According to Imadi, once all of the donations have been collected, they will be sent to the UNICEF headquarters in New York and will go to the fund already in place for earthquake victims. Items like medical supplies and food will then be purchased and sent to Mexico to help children in the affected areas.
Photo Courtesy of UNICEF at GMU