Just a week after an earthquake with a 7.0 ranking on the Richter scale left most of Haiti in shambles, students and local businesses are banding together to help fund the relief efforts.
Colorado residents can donate a minimum of $5 to the Haiti Relief Fund by depositing the money in a 1st National Bank account opened by local marijuana dispensary owner Joe Dice.
Donors who keep their deposit receipts can use them to receive discounts at various local businesses, Dice said.
Dice said his goal is to spread the effort to all corners of Colorado and said he is currently in talks with medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver and Colorado Springs about starting similar efforts.
United Way and the Red Cross have both set up text message donation options, where users can have contributions added to their monthly bills by texting â€œHaitiâ€ to designated numbers.
Vanessa Akeredolu, a graduate student in the School of Social Work, said when she heard of the â€œdevastatingâ€ earthquake, she was eager to help.
â€œI turned to CNN: It was catastrophic, heartbreaking,â€ Akeredolu said, adding that she donated to the Red Cross via text message.
Sophomore health and exercise major Kristen Swanson said she also donated to the Red Cross, and said the medias coverage of the destroyed communities â€œhit home.â€
Students and community members can also visit the West Minister Presbyterian Church in Fort Collins to drop off donation checks.
â€œ(The news) said it could be 500,000 people (the death toll. I imagined driving around Fort Collins and seeing all the people, thatâ€™s 100,000. Times that by five in less than 30 seconds,â€ Dice said.
Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at email@example.com.