JBU Student Begins Local El Salvador Disaster Relief

Siloam Springs, Ark (February 7, 2001) - What began as an a idea for one JBU student, caught on with other students and faculty/staff. Adriana Valle began efforts to raise money for earthquake victims in El Salvador. Her efforts quickly caught on and raised more than $5000 in monetary contributions and more than 200 boxes of clothing.

Adriana initiated the idea of trying to raise money for the earthquake victims. Ron Johnson contacted the John Brown University Business Office and established an account for donations. Originally the decision was made not to collect food or clothing, because of uncertainty on how to deliver these items to El Salvador.

An announcement was sent via e-mail to hundreds of John Brown University alumni, and soon a response came. It was from Mauricio Herrera, a graduate of JBU’s advance program, and he told of his efforts to take relief items such as food, clothing and medicine to El Salvador.

The decision was made to combine efforts, and JBU expanded its drive to gather food and clothing as well. A number of students conducted a door-to-door food campaign and received donations of canned foods and other items. Collection points were established in the International Student Programs Office and in the Division of Business.

Donations came from many individuals in the Siloam Springs community as well as corporations. DaySpring Greeting Cards gave several hundred boxes in which to pack the donated items, and a truckload of clothing was donated by an organization in Lincoln, Arkansas, known as The Grace Place.

On February 1st and 2nd JBU students met to sort and box the clothing and food donations. The collection was loaded onto a rented truck and taken to Springdale where they will be transferred onto a Tyson truck headed for Miami, Florida. Mauricio and others from the Springdale area will travel to El Salvador to meet the shipment and assure that it is delivered to those in need.

Monetary contributions will be divided and wired electronically to two different churches in El Salvador who are extremely active in providing assistance in disaster relief as well as earthquake reconstruction. JBU alumni associated with these churches will ensure that all of the money is received and used appropriately.

One person's desire to help turned into a campus and community effort that, with the help of a global network of JBU alumni, will directly benefit the hungry and homeless earthquake victims in El Salvador. It is amazing to see intercultural differences disappear in the face of human tragedy.

John Brown University is a private university with an enrollment of more than 1,500 students from 46 states and 30 countries. JBU is a member of the Arkansas Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

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