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Messages from the President

February 19, 2010
You may have noticed that our Haiti relief table—which was staffed by students for two weeks at the start of the semester—has now moved from the Marvin Feldman Center C-building lobby to the David Dubinsky Student Center A-building lobby. While it is no longer staffed, it holds materials on volunteer opportunities and contributions. We have maintained the large Haiti poster on the lobby wall in “C” which continues to fill up with signatures and personal messages from this community.

About 150 members of the community—students, faculty and staff—have volunteered their services with Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.), an organization with a long history of philanthropic activity in Haiti. If you wish more information on K.I.D.S. or other volunteer opportunities, please contact Deborah Payton-Jones in the student life office.

In a new initiative, Luxottica, the well-known eyewear company, has provided drop-off boxes on campus for unwanted eyewear. As part of its “One Sight” project, the company cleans, reviews prescriptions, and then ships the glasses to countries where they are needed. These glasses will go to Haiti. Luxottica will accept both optical and sunglasses. You will find drop-off boxes in both the “C” and “A” lobbies. Luxottica has an on-going relationship with FIT’s accessories design department.

Our Style Shop received a limited supply of CFDA “Fashion for Haiti” T-shirts this week. They may be sold out by the time you read this memo. But because these T-shirts have proved to be so popular throughout the city, the CFDA has put them back into production and we have placed another order.

Re-building Haiti, as you know, will take years. Its struggle will soon recede from the front or even the back pages. But the need will remain, and it is urgent. I continue to welcome any idea you might have that might allow us, as a community, to respond to that need. Please feel free to contact the president’s office with your suggestions.

January 22, 2010
Many of you, I am sure, have already found ways to contribute to the relief efforts in Haiti. However, here at FIT, we wish to offer ways in which all of us, including our students, can also provide assistance---whether monetary or through volunteer activities. At the moment, we are hoping to identify organizations we can use to channel FIT contributions. Among other efforts, we are in discussion with Kids in Distressed Situations (K.I.D.S.), an organization that has worked in Haiti since 1995 providing apparel, shoes and books to vulnerable children. It is actively coordinating relief efforts with its partners now, working with retailers and manufacturers, to obtain donations and products. Indeed, at this moment, it has already provided more than 20 containers with relief supplies that are either in port or en route. We will provide you with more specific information about how we will collaborate with K.I.D.S. soon. We will also keep you informed as other FIT initiatives and efforts for Haiti evolve.

January 14, 2010
We are all deeply saddened and distressed by the earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday. Indeed, words are inadequate to describe the devastation that is unfolding or to express the horror and grief we feel at this time for all of Haiti---and for our friends and neighbors whose families and friends may be personally affected. While FIT has no international students who are from Haiti, we may have students who are Haitian citizens or permanent residents---or students who have family and friends who live there. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of them---as is our desire to help.  Indeed, we are now mobilizing a college-wide effort to provide whatever assistance we can and will provide more information as soon as it is formalized.

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