Heading the effort to raise money for Haiti
- Students travel and give back with Alternative Spring Break
- Shopping for Charity
- CVC's Good Deeds of the Week
"I didn't want a campus where everyone was competitive with each other," Danny Garin '13 says. "I wanted to be able to get involved."
Now, halfway through their first year on Mayflower Hill, Garin and his classmate, Lisa Kaplan '13, have done just that by devoting hours of time and energy to organizing the College's Haiti relief effort. Garin and Kaplan's various fundraisers have collected nearly $25,000 in aid, which Partners in Health will donate to earthquake victims.
"We decided on Partners in Health [because it] has a couple of Colby connections already," Garin says. "The director of communications is a Colby alum and she e-mailed us and said that if we raised $50,000 we could keep a [medical] clinic open...in Haiti for another month...and that's just so rewarding."
The two first-years gave out t-shirts in exchange for $10 donations, sold raffle tickets at sports games and organized a dinner gala that will take place on Feb. 26. Garin and Kaplan are only $3,000 away from reaching their $25,000 goal, a number that two anonymous alumni offered to match.
Garin and Kaplan first became involved with the fundraiser through the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement. "We're both on the Goldfarb Center student advisory board, and right after the earthquake the co-chair of the board sent out an e-mail [asking for someone to lead the project]," Garin says. "Lisa and I thought we would work well together, so we said we would do it."
The pair is extremely impressed by the College's response to their fundraiser, as Kaplan says the T-shirt sales raised $1,000 in the first six hours. "I didn't know how successful it would be," she says. "The student response was amazing. That was really the biggest 'wow' moment for me, when we realized our first-day total. The whole student body came together and we've really been able to make a difference."
In addition to organizing a fundraiser that, according to Kaplan, "raised more money for Partners in Health than any other college," the two first-years participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities.
Garin, a Washington, DC native, sings in the co-ed a cappella group the Megalomaniacs and writes a blog for insideColby. In his free time, he enjoys skiing and playing video games. "I went skiing over winter break in Colorado, and the skiing at Sugarloaf was better than in Colorado," he says, "and I'm an expert at Super Smash Brothers. If anyone would like to challenge me, I'll gladly beat them."
Kaplan, who grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, works "behind the scenes" in Miller Library, labeling and organizing books. She also enjoys her role as a CCAK mentor. "I mentor a first grade boy [whom] I love. He's the greatest little kid ever," she says.
Despite Kaplan's initial desire to break away from her family's tradition of attending Colby, she ended up following in the footsteps of her father, grandfather and aunt. She decided to apply early decision to the College.
She says that learning about the Goldfarb Center's presence on campus as a prospective student enhanced the College's appeal for her. "I knew I wanted to [join the Goldfarb Center] from the get go. They're really great about providing different opportunities for everybody and making everyone in campus more aware."
Kaplan has followed through with her initial interest, and with a few months left in her first year, she has no regrets about choosing to attend a college in her home state. "I don't feel like I'm anywhere near home," Kaplan says, but she believes that this is a good thing. "I love this [college] so much more than I loved high school. [Colby has] given me a lot of opportunities and I've met so many great people. Colby really encourages its students to take their initiative and just go with it. It's hard work, but it really pays off in the end."