January 22, 2010

Good Afternoon,

A little over a week ago I wrote about the unfolding tragedy in Haiti. Since then, like all of you, I have been following the stories of human tragedy and triumph that are being reported daily from this devastated country.

As I watch and listen, the urge to do something immediately is almost overwhelming, and I know that many of you feel the same way because of your calls and e-mails.

It is critically important for us to reach out to Haiti and help its citizens in their time of need; but it is equally important for us to help in the way that will be most beneficial. From conversations with disaster recovery experts at Tulane and elsewhere, I have been told repeatedly that donations of cash, including benefits to raise money, are the best way to extend a helping hand at this time.

Many Tulane organizations have started fund-raisers, and you will see signs and collection jars in offices across campus. This is a good way to help and there are other ways as well. In an effort to share with you what Tulanians are doing and planning to do, both in fundraising and in other humanitarian efforts, we have developed a website that will be a clearinghouse for information.

As another week draws to a close, it is true that the situation in Haiti commands our attention. However, those of us in New Orleans have a welcome distraction this weekend when our hometown heroes, the Saints, meet the Minnesota Vikings with a Super Bowl berth on the line.

One of the men in Black and Gold, linebacker Jonathan Vilma, is like us—while focused on the game his heart is with the beleaguered citizens of Haiti. A portion of the proceeds of a t-shirt he has designed will go to disaster relief.

I'm proud that in the midst of all the excitement about this momentous game, New Orleanians are still thinking about others. I'll be wearing my Saints colors proudly on Sunday as I cheer them on to victory.

Have a good weekend.


Office of the President Emeritus, 1555 Poydras St, Suite 700, New Orleans, LA 70112 504-274-3638