MIA Leads Relief Efforts for Puerto Rico, Victims of Hurricane Maria

December 5, 2017 Jennifer Retter

By Sarah Adeniran ’18

On Nov. 12, the Arcadia University Pan-African student organization Melanin in Action (MIA) held a relief drive to collect items for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, securing nearly 30 boxes filled with desperately needed items such as toothpaste, feminine products, soap, batteries, and non-perishable food.

For the event, MIA partnered with other Arcadia groups and departments, including Pan African Studies, Young Democratic Socialists of Arcadia (YDSA), Black Male Development Symposium, Power, Black Awareness Society (BAS), and the Latino Association. The largest partner was Unidos por Puerto Rico, a nonprofit organization founded by Beatriz Rossello, first lady of Puerto Rico.

Aliyah Abraham ’18, MIA’s president and founder, stressed that “human connection” should serve as a motivator for people to help others in need.

“You don’t have to know someone in Puerto Rico to be inspired,” said Abraham. “It shouldn’t be that you help only if you know.”

After six hours of receiving donations from University and outside community members, the student groups assorted the boxes and prepared them for shipment. The following week, thanks to a segment on 6ABC’s Action News, students were still receiving donations. The drive’s aftermath resulted in 10 more boxes of donated goods for the citizens of Puerto Rico, upping the final tally to 38 boxes of needed items.

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