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La Verne aids Haiti earthquake victims

Rachel Smith
Staff Writer

The devastating earthquake in Haiti has led the La Verne community – including the University of La Verne, city of La Verne and Church of the Brethren – to join hands and provide relief for the victims of this devastating natural disaster.

“People want to help and trust that our organizations will make that happen,” said Janet Ober, associate pastor of the La Verne Church of the Brethren.

La Verne organizations like the Chamber of Commerce and the Bonita Unified School District are also working to raise money and supplies needed for the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

The University of La Verne and the Church of the Brethren teamed up to host a benefit concert just one week after the earthquake struck. The concert raised approximately $3,500 with all proceeds going directly to aid earthquake victims.

The two are now working on an additional fundraising event for early March. Details for the upcoming event are not finalized as of yet, but the University and the Church of the Brethren are working feverishly to get the event started.

Debbie Roberts, the University’s campus minister, said it will be a hands-on event with community involvement and a benefit concert.

The Church of the Brethren congregation has also been putting together much needed emergency kits for the victims and will continue to take donations at their church services from its members and all other individuals that would like to contribute.

The Bonita High School Key Club partnered with La Verne and Bonita Unified School District to provide a pancake breakfast hosted at Bonita High School on Sunday.

Lupe Estrella, La Verne’s assistant city clerk, said the city did not have a specific event for Haiti relief, but was able to provide a venue for the pancake breakfast; the school district provided all the necessary administrative support and other local organizations donated many of the necessary supplies to host the breakfast.

Brian McNerney, president of the La Verne Chamber of Commerce said, “There are many local opportunities to help.”

Even local La Verne businesses, like Chamber member, Micky’s Jewelry Studio, assisted with the collection of donations in their place of business which aided the Bonita Key Club breakfast fundraiser.

The students, teachers, churches and local businesses are the driving forces behind the relief effort taking place in the La Verne community.

La Verne is a caring and helpful community, Ober said.

Community members can support the University of La Verne effort by visiting www.laverne.edu, or the La Verne Church of the Brethren effort by visiting www.lavernecob.org, or the La Verne Chamber of Commerce Web site www.lavernechamber.org to find out more details on upcoming or on-going opportunities to help the victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Rachel Smith can be reached at rachel.smith@laverne.edu.

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