May 2, 2003

UNICEF Raises Funds for Iraq War Relief

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The Cornell chapter of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has raised over $2000 for relief of the Iraqi people.

For an entire month, the campus chapter spearheaded a campaign called “Urgent Appeal for Iraqi Families.” As part of the campaign, Cornell UNICEF also collected over 250 health kits for American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) to benefit the Iraqi people.

The kits were delivered to a Philadelphia UNICEF chapter on April 25, and they shipped from New York City this past weekend.

Kits included shampoo, toothbrushes, bandages, toothpaste and other hygiene items.

In addition to assembling the kits, Cornell UNICEF also collected donations from various community organizations and businesses.

According to Richelle Carino ’04, president Cornell UNICEF, the Cornell community was very receptive to their campaign.

Some organizations that contributed include Pi Delta Psi, the Multicultural Greek Letter Council, Cornell Tradition, the Chinese Students Association, the Asian Pacific Americans for Action, Sphinx Head Honor Society, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Pi Omega, 10,000 Thousand Villages and the Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy.

Carino is very happy with the success of the campaign which achieved its goal of “engaging the community so it would respond to the talk of war.”

Carino developed the campaign with fellow Cornell UNICEF member, Andrea Chaloux ’03. The two students remained in Ithaca over spring break in order to organize the fundraising effort, which according to Carino developed after she attended an anti-war coalition meeting.

Liz Roy, UNICEF regional program manger, said, “The Cornell group is doing an amazing job.”

The Cornell UNICEF organization, which is relatively new according to Roy, is one of the most active groups in the greater New England region.

In all, UNICEF has 37 campus groups throughout the United States.

UNICEF, which now operates in 158 countries, started as a response to starvation in post World War II Europe. It has grown to be one of the most effective relief agencies in the world.

A recent Forbes article surveying charitable organizations, gave UNICEF very high marks, commending the organization for a 90 percent “charitable commitment.” This commitment is based on how much money goes towards its stated mission. While UNICEF is an extension of the UN, it does not receive any financing.

“Because of UNICEF-led efforts, each year 7 million lives are being saved, and tens of millions lead healthier, more productive lives,” Roy said.

In 1965, UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace prize and throughout its lifetime, it has striven to alleviate the conditions of poverty in underdeveloped nations.

“UNICEF has been in Iraq since 1952 and will continue to work to secure the safety of the Iraqi people,” Roy said.

Archived article by Michael Margolis