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Students fundraise for earthquake relief

After a devastating 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit Southeast Turkey and Northwest Syria on Feb. 6, millions of people lost everything and their lives changed forever. Recovering from a natural disaster of this degree requires a plethora of external resources, and earlier this month a group of NMSU students decided to help raise funds. 

AIS Vice President Deema Alvones shows off a plate of food available for sale to a student passing by as part of a fundraising event to support earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey. (Photo by Brandon Santa Maria/Kokopelli)

NMSU’s Association of Information Systems Student Chapter held an earthquake victim relief fundraiser on March 9 near the front entrance of Corbett Center Student Union. A small group of AIS members managed and explained the fundraiser while students purchased plates of food for $12 each. The event lasted just over an hour, however, this was AIS’ third time fundraising for this cause. The first fundraising event was held on Feb. 23, and the second took place on March 2. 

Within the small group of participating AIS members was AIS President Diana Enriquez and Vice President Deema Alyones. Both Enriquez and Alyones had major roles when it came to managing these multiple fundraising events.

“It was really more of being present on the days of the events as well as working with other officers to help assist and manage the event. Also, to help the volunteers as well as being part of the volunteering opportunity,” Alyones said.

Alyones mentioned that the event was also about spreading word about the cause to the entire NMSU community in order to generate conversations and donations. 

Even though this was one of the first fundraising events that Alyones had participated in, fundraisers are not new territory for AIS.

“For me, this is my first time doing a fundraising event with AIS, but I know they have done other fundraising events like for the Afghanistan refugees that came in last year,” Alyones said. “The AIS organization always tries to come up with community service events that they think are needed for a specific group of people who are in need of help. Also, it’s just a way so we can get the whole NMSU community involved together as well as help each other.”

Since Enriquez is the active president of AIS, she was able to provide a little more insight into what AIS plans to do with the raised funds, as well as the target goal they set prior to hosting these three fundraisers.

According to Enriquez, determining where the funds would be sent was the first step AIS took in developing the fundraiser.

“We did a lot of research into this cause. We didn’t want the money to be mishandled or donated to something that wasn’t it, so we found the best way [to provide support] is to [address the victims’] immediate needs … the best way to do that is through cash and actually investing in their economy. It allows them to recover much [quicker] and permanently.”

Enriquez mentioned a couple of examples that would help out the country’s economy, such as purchasing food or clothes. This would not only help the economy recover, but could then also be donated directly to those in need. 

While AIS set out to raise as much money as possible, the outlined target goal was $1200. The final amount AIS raised was $800. 

Overall, both Enriquez and Alyones said that this third earthquake relief fundraiser was successful. It’s evident that members of AIS put in a lot of time to make this happen, especially with mid-terms going on at the same time.

“I just want to thank everyone who has been involved with this event. All the volunteers and wonderful officers as well as our faculty adviser [Dr. Rajaa Shindi.] Without them, this event would not have happened,” Enriquez said. 

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