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Students raise funds for Puerto Rico

Posted 10/10/17

Puerto Rico relief fundraiser posterFitchburg State University student organizations will raise funds for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico during a night of dancing, music and games that will celebrate the local community’s ties to the battered island.

The fundraiser will be held 7 to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Fitchburg Armory, 14 Wallace Ave. Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for those bringing donated necessities; and free for children under 10. Tickets may be purchased at the information desk at Hammond Hall, 160 Pearl St., or at the Armory door the night of the event.

Donations of diapers, baby food, batteries, first aid supplies, feminine hygiene products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, wet wipes, and waterless shampoo will be collected at the door.

“My precious island might had been crushed by a strong blow of suffering and terror, but that will never dwell the spirit of my Boricuas,” said Jonathan Guzman, president of the campus’ Latin American Student Organization (LASO). “No matter how far we are from each other, we would always find a way to unite in these silent moments, to rebuild our island.  We believe there will always be a tomorrow and together we will bring our Island back, with pride, laugher and no regrets.”

“Weeks after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, thousands of citizens are still going to sleep tonight worried about their next meal,” said Daliza Rosario, vice president of the university’s Latin American Student Organization (LASO). “There are family members that have still to hear from loved ones in Puerto Rico to confirm they are safe. Standing united is the only way we will come up from time of hurting. Please come and show your support, bring in donations and let’s show off our human kindness.”

More than a dozen student clubs and organizations have stepped forward to assist in the event and will be staffing different booths within the Armory, such as food and face-painting stations. There will also be music and dancing celebrating Puerto Rican culture.

All proceeds and goods collected will be given to the non-profit Vision Misionera of Pennsylvania, operated by the father of Fitchburg State staff member Joel Rodriguez.

“I’m not only doing this for my friends and family in Puerto Rico, I’m doing this because it’s the humane thing to do,” said Rodriguez, a technical support specialist in the university’s Information Technology Department. “It’s the American way. We need this event for all Puerto Ricans in the Fitchburg area who feel there is nothing they can do, and want to contribute or keep contributing. We can unite together as a community, enjoy great food, music, as well as share stories, laugh and cry and be bonded as one. Because together we are stronger.

“My hopes are that this devastation opens the eyes and heart of many people that aren’t affected directly,” Rodriguez continued. “It will show you have a neighbor or a friend who is suffering in silence. It will show to those affected that there are compassionate people out there that feel your pain and want to help. This event will give everyone a chance to say, I’m not there physically but my heart and thoughts are there with you.”

For more information, contact Associate Director of Student Development Shane Franzen at 978-665-3163 or Director of the Center for Diversity and Inclusiveness Jamie Cochran at 978-665-3399.

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