As visuals of the March 9th earthquake in Japan splashed across their TV’s and computers, several AUC Student Government Association (SGA) members felt helpless and horrified. So they decided to pitch in, albeit on a small scale, and raise money for victims of the quake by producing and selling T-shirts on St. Maarten.
All proceeds from the sales will go to the Save the Children Emergency Japan Fund, a charity whose intent is to help those affected by the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. So far, nearly $1,500 has been raised. The Christian Medical Dental Association (CMDA) has also been pitching in by raising funds through its Sunday offerings.
“Over 100,000 children have been uprooted from their homes because the disaster struck during the day when they were in school,” said Jennifer Chen, a University of California, Davis, grad and the AUC student representative for the Asian Student Medical Association (ASMA).
“In disasters such as these, the children are overlooked. We chose ‘Save the Children’ because it has a fund set aside just for the purpose of helping those in Japan.” Chen said money from the Community Outreach Fund from SGA was used to purchase the T-shirts.
The rest of the payment came from ASMA and out of the pockets of some students.
“It’s a chance for future physicians to do good, not only on a community level, but on an international level,” said Jubin Jacob, a fourth semester Medical Sciences student who helped design the T-shirts, which have the red sun of Japan’s flag on the front and the AUC School of Medicine logo on the back. The white T-shirts also have ASMA/CMDA printed on the left sleeve.
While the tragedy didn’t hit close to home for Jacob, the thought of such a disaster hitting St. Maarten was enough for him to push to make a contribution.
“We live on a 37 square mile island, and something of that magnitude would wipe this place out,” said Jacob, who grew up in New York and studied cell and molecular biology at Binghamton University before enrolling at AUC.
“So that makes us more humble.”