Students Provide Assistance to Haiti

The students of Irene Warren’s COM 206 Interpersonal Communication class took on one assignment to make a change. The students took part in a service learning project where they decided that the Courseview Campus become involved to provide assistance to Haiti.

The 22 students developed a campaign to raise funds through various activities to provide the much needed aid to the thousands of Haitians devastated by the January 12, 2010 earthquake.

A goal of $2,000.00 was determined. However, without any “start-up funding” the students started their fundraising efforts through bake sales, candy sales, textbook buy backs, soda and popcorn sales, basket raffle sales (baking basket; car care basket; Sinclair basket; candle and potpourri basket; 2 “Pamper Me” baskets; and a coffee & tea basket); a Notebook raffle; and a Family Movie Night. All of their efforts and hard work paid off... they reached their goal raising $2,007.64!

This service learning project incorporated: student research; internet research; power point development; timeline and planning, implementation of the interpersonal communication model; goal setting; budget creation; and fundraising.

The project was considered a group project and groups were selected randomly and were graded as a group. Students addressed the complex issues of working together as a team where values, work ethics, cultures, time, personal challenges and arising conflicts all played important roles.

The student’s first challenge was to begin to educate the Courseview community about Haiti. Students did extensive research on Haiti which included: location; politics; economics; history; and education. From this research the students prepared class presentations, developed power point presentations; created posters; created an informational video presentation and developed the artwork for the campaign.

The overall student goals for this project were:

  • To educate and raise awareness for the COM 206 class and the Courseview students about Haiti.
  • To have the COM 206 students face the challenges of working together as a group and develop the needed skills for success.
  • To develop presentation skills; do in-depth research; and be able to analyze the project.
  • To raise funds for Haiti.

At the end of Winter Quarter, students presented to the class what each group had learned:

We learned that when people come together, they can really make a difference. Communicating is a big part of the group so when you actually focus and take time to talk to each other; you can turn something into a great experience.”

“Facts about Haiti”population over 9 million; death toll from earthquake over 200,000; poorest country in the Western hemisphere; most Haitians live on less than $2.00 a day; majority live on $.90 s day; 80% of population live in abject poverty; more than 2/3 of the labor force do not have jobs; 85% are illiterate; and 3% of the population have the money and control the country.”

"In the Haiti project we learned many facts about Haiti. Not only did we learn facts we also realized what people can do to help others. We thought as a class we raised and amazing amount of money together. This truly showed that people can make a difference in the world if they just try.”

"We learned that no matter how bad we think our lives are, there are people that are in far worse shape. We realized that we Americans take so very much for granted. We knew so little about the Haitian people until this project. It made us realize and feel guilty about all of the luxuries we have when the Haitian don’t even have food to eat or clean water to drink.”

When students were asked:  What did the Haiti Project do for the Courseview Campus? students smiled and said:

“Enlightened the entire Courseview campus to the plight of Haiti.”

“As I sat at the bake sale, I noticed that students respected us for what we were doing. We hope that these types of projects will continue after our campaign is over.”

“As a smaller campus, we felt that we could raise money too. We put our efforts into this and we can change the stereotypical thinking regarding community college students.”

“Our project has opened people’s minds about the living conditions of Haiti. Our project has shown the school that there are people who do care about the wellbeing of others less fortunate than us.”

“Project Haiti has helped the Courseview Campus to see the many ways they can help people in need in the United States and other parts of the world.”

Ms. Warren is very proud of her students.“These students were truly amazing. They embraced this project with enthusiasm, found creative ways to raise money, learned how to work together as a group, worked through their conflicts, and developed great leadership skills.”

Campaign artwork was created by James Johnson. The Haiti video was created by Taylor Rogers. COM 206 students were: Jordan Amburgy, Betty Ankonu, Donna Bedinghaus, Tammy Doyle, Theresa Duke, Kassandra Eves, Edward Grob; Susan Heil; Larena Hennecke, Amanda Hill, Jeannie Jackson, James Johnson, Callie Mescher, Jacob Moniz, Jennifer Nolan, Travis Reffitt, Taylor Rogers, Sarah Scott, Tyler Smith, Kellie Spicer, and Jessica Stacy.