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Alie Beauvais, '10

Bringing Relief for Haiti

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In the wake of the catastrophic earthquake that rocked Haiti, University at Albany senior hurdler Alie Beauvais, whose parents are Haitian natives, leapt into action to help. The star track athlete orchestrated a campus clothing drive that quickly collected thousands of needed items for earthquake survivors.

Beauvais said he has been filled with emotion while watching his parents try to communicate with relatives.

"I heard my mother cry and that broke my heart. I wanted to help in any way possible,” said Beauvais. His father was not able to contact his grandmother right away, but later discovered that both his grandmothers are alive.

With an estimated 150,000 killed in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince and 1.5 million left homeless, the United Nations has called the Jan. 12 earthquake the worst disaster it has ever confronted.

Born in Hempstead, N.Y., Beauvais, a sociology major, was honored to represent Haiti in the Central American and Caribbean Games last summer after finishing 10th in the 400-hurdles at the NCAA Division I outdoor track championships.

Also helping with the clothing drive was assistant coach and UAlbany alumnus Raphael Jean-Baptiste.

"People are covered in blood, other people's blood, their own blood, their children's blood. And they lost their clothes and need to change. It's going to spread disease," said Jean-Baptiste, who was born in Port-au-Prince and has thankfully found that all of his family members are safe, including his father.

With the help of the athletic department and the UAlbany Chapel House, Beauvais and Jean-Baptiste gathered thousands of items of clothing for Haiti. "I had clothes in the middle of my room," Beauvais said.

The UAlbany community is also helping through the UAlbany Haiti Relief Fund, which had raised a total of $30,336 as of Jan. 27. That includes funds donated by University Auxiliary Services, which is matching every dollar donated to the fund. All contributions are being distributed in equal parts to Yéle Haiti, Partners In Health, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

“The University at Albany is demonstrating once again its compassion and support for our UAlbany family and global neighbors,” said President George M. Philip at a recent memorial service organized by the Haitian Student Association.

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