John Jay Mobilizes to Support Disaster Relief and Recovery Efforts

John Jay Mobilizes to Support Disaster Relief and Recovery Efforts

John Jay Mobilizes to Support Disaster Relief and Recovery Efforts

In the wake of four natural disasters, which tragically struck within weeks of each other, the John Jay community has mobilized to support those affected by these tragic events.

“We are all reeling from so many tragedies over the past few weeks. We witnessed three hurricanes in a row devastate Texas, Florida, the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, and a major earthquake severely impact Mexico City. On Monday morning, we woke to the news of the mass shootings in Las Vegas. I struggled to find the words to address the pain that so many of us are feeling in the wake of these events,” said President Karol Mason.

Mason said that community members can help in a wide variety of ways including donating household items, volunteering, joining an event, or contributing funds.

To maximize the impact of those who want to help, John Jay set up a webpage – Unmet Needs – to serve as a resource for the community members who wish to donate or support the affected populations.  John Jay is following the Unmet needs Roundtable Model, a model that has proven to be effective in coordinating long-term recovery efforts. The model utilizes a “coordinating agency” to bring together different partner organizations, provide training, help distribute funds, and provide reports on the progress of recovery efforts. 

Those who want to volunteer can sign up with the Unmet Needs Roundtable. Donations are being collected and sent to international and domestic areas impacted by the hurricanes, and several events have also been organized including Arts for Healing, which took place in Hound Square from October 16 – 20, and a bake sale scheduled for October 25 in the Atrium.

In a letter to the John Jay community, Jose Luis Morin, chair of the Latino/a studies department, said, “Many in our community – including students, faculty and staff – with roots in Mexico and Puerto Rico have been deeply shaken, are concerned with the wellbeing of loved ones, and are looking for ways to assist in relief efforts.” He identified several specific organizations that people can donate to including Fundacion Loyola to support Mexico and The Hurricane Maria Relief and Recovery Fund to support Puerto Rico, among several other reputable organizations.

Chancellor James Milliken acknowledged that many in the CUNY community are directly affected by the hurricane that struck Puerto Rico. “This disaster has special meaning in New York and at The City University of New York,” he said. “So many in our communities trace their heritage to Puerto Rico, and thousands of CUNY students, faculty and staff have family and friends directly impacted by this disaster. Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends, families and colleagues in Puerto Rico, and we want to do all we can to assist them at this time.”

One John Jay graduate student, Layla Vasquez, started a Go Fund Me campaign that has already raised $1,445 to support recovery efforts in Guayama, Puerto Rico, an area that was hit especially hard.  In an article in Yonkers Daily Voice about her campaign, she is quoted as saying, "This is a human necessity, this is human survival… it's necessary that the government steps in to help people."

Check in with the Unmet Needs webpage to stay up to date on how you can aid in the recovery efforts.