By Cari Griggs, Senior Staff Writer
After disaster struck in Japan, the OCU community came up with a number of opportunities for students, faculty and staff to contribute to the relief efforts.
The Rev. Jennifer Long, director of religious life, said her first priority is to spearhead awareness on how to donate to the cause. Donations are directed to the United Methodist Committee on Relief, a not-for-profit global humanitarian aid organization.
Phi Mu Alpha and Sigma Alpha Iota, music fraternities, hosted a benefit concert March 25 in Petree Recital Hall in Kirkpatrick Fine Arts Center.
Donations were collected in place of an admissions fee, according to an OCU Communications & Marketing email.
“They are always one of the first people on site of a disaster,” she said. “We also know that 100 percent of the money donated goes to relief.”
Another method used to encourage contribution is through the creation of health kits, including cleaning, birthing and school kits, Long said.
“There are different kits you can put together through UMCOR,” she said.
Long said she sent an email to the entire campus community providing a link to submit their donation online or to find details about what goes into different types of kits.
Kappa Phi women’s Christian sorority spent March 30 creating kits to send to Japan, said Heather Habekott, elementary education sophomore and Kappa Phi member.
“We are all raising money to make 10 kits,” she said. “It was our service week, and so we decided to use one of our days as a service to Japan.”
Lindi Jones, acting sophomore and Kappa Phi member, said the decision to help was easy.
“When we have the resources to help people, we have to reach out,” she said. “Service is one of the pillars of Kappa Phi, and Japan is in a real need right now.”
Long said she encouraged all campus organizations to follow Kappa Phi’s lead and donate one or two kits to the effort.
“They will be specifically collected at the annual conference at the end of May, which is hosted at OCU,” she said.
Special offerings were collected at chapel services March 24, and the offerings at Evensong services also are being donated to the cause until the end of the year.
The community has been willing to help, Long said.
“At Evensong, we are dealing with students without a lot of extra income, yet we have still had a very generous response,” she said.
Giving to UMCOR is not the only way to encourage people to get involved, Long said.
“Of course we are asking people to be in prayer,” she said. “My sermon was called ‘Do What You Can,’ the message being we can all do something.”
UMCOR is not the only agency to donate to help the relief, Long said.
“I highly recommend other places,” she said. “This is just the one we have connections with and know that 100 percent of the money goes to the relief.
“We want to make sure the community knows how to help and let their hearts take them where they can serve.”
For additional information, contact Jennifer Long at 405-208-5078 or email@example.com.