For the last several weeks, the Sonoma State University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has been raising funds and collecting basic health care items to help a former Seawolf student-athlete lend a hand to those most affected by the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on Jan. 12. Recently, leaders of S.A.A.C. handed over a check of $1,000 to SSU volleyball alum Taylor Manton in support of the "Haiti Orphan Project."
Last month, members of S.A.A.C. launched the "Haiti Orphan Project" in conjunction with "Bubbles For Troubles" to help Manton gather much needed items, including basic medical supplies and personal care items for those young children displaced by the earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks that continue affect the Haitian world. Manton has also been accepting monetary donations to help fund her trip, which will cost her about $2,500 out of pocket.
"My excitement about this trip overtakes any nerves I have about becoming immersed in the devastation that has taken place in the lives of the children I will be caring for," Manton said.
Members of each of the 13 Sonoma State Intercollegiate teams have helped out with the "Bubbles For Troubles" project and Manton's efforts by donating small bottles of shampoos and other soaps that they round up while traveling. They are also helping raise the money through a S.A.A.C.-sponsored on-campus dance as well as accepting donations at Sonoma State athletic events.
"The student-athletes of Sonoma State University take their place in the larger community very seriously," Associate Athletic Director and S.A.A.C. Advisor Yvonne Burbank said. "That calling, paired with the opportunity to support a former student-athlete, made for a great collaboration between various campus departments, the students and alumni. The charge of our leaders in this support effort is a fantastic measure of their commitment to service."
A recent graduate of Sonoma State University and a University of Southern California medical student beginning this fall, Manton has left for the capital city of the Dominican Republic, in partnership with the International Service Learning program, to provide medical care for those orphans in need.
"I am most excited about becoming a hands-on medical provider, with the oversight of trained physicians, and providing these children with the best care possible," Manton added.
"A helping hand from someone who cares can mean the world. I want to be that helping hand for these young Haitian orphans and be the catalyst in their lives that carries them along in their journey to recovery."
For more information on how to contribute to the "Haiti Orphan Project" and help Manton with her costs, please visit: www.myspace.com/donate_haitiorphanproject.