In response to the earthquake that struck Haiti in January, students from UTC and Chattanooga State Community College are uniting to launch a campaign to collect critical medical supplies. Known as “Embrace Haiti,” the project reminds the community that the crisis in Haiti continues and focuses primarily on obtaining orthotic and prosthetic equipment-devices that improve mobility and independence for individuals who have broken leg or foot bones or who have had a limb amputated. “Embrace Haiti” begins on Saturday, March 20, and concludes on Monday, March 29. The public is invited to participate.
Recommended donations include items from this list.
“Embrace Haiti” has two distinct phases. Students will network within the community to encourage support. As students gather supplies and equipment, they will also be packing and loading the contributions into an 18-wheel transportation trailer used by Chattanooga State to train students enrolled in the college’s commercial truck driving program.
The second phase of the project begins on Monday, March 29, when Chattanooga State students will drive the commercial training vehicle to Bluffton, Indiana, and deliver the donations to an organization that is working nationally to amass medical supplies and equipment for Haitian earthquake relief. Ultimately, the donations collected in Chattanooga will support the Advantage program, a Haiti-based rehabilitation clinic founded by Dr. June Hanks, UC Foundation Associate Professor in the Graduate Physical Therapy Program at UTC.
Other area businesses assisting Chattanooga State and UTC include Goodwill Industries, Fillauer Inc., Walmart, Benton Oil Service, and 3-H Group Hotels.
The schedule for the “Embrace Haiti” project provides opportunities for community participation. The Chattanooga State truck will be accepting donations at the locations listed below:
- March 20-21 | Walmart on Highway 153
- March 22-23 | UTC
- March 24-26 | Chattanooga State
- March 27-28 | Walmart on Gunbarrel Road
- March 29 | Chattanooga State
Student body presidents Tyler Forrest from UTC and Dale Grisso from Chattanooga State are providing the leadership for “Embrace Haiti.” Both believe that this campaign can have a significant impact.
“We have heard that at least 110,000 Haitians have had amputations since the earthquake,” Forrest said. “Medical treatment and rehabilitation services are rare; so I know that our focus on orthotics and prosthetics addresses a serious need.”
Dale Grisso from Chattanooga State sees the project as a learning experience.
“Chattanooga State and UTC are natural partners, and this project combines the strengths of our campus communities,” Grisso said. “Together we are becoming culturally aware and globally concerned.”
For more information about the Advantage, please visit http://www.advantagehaiti.com/