NU Stands with Thailand raises $3000

Lauren Caruba

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After almost three weeks of online fundraising and on-campus events, Northwestern’s Thai Club has raised nearly $3,000 through its campaign NU Stands with Thailand, which aims to aid Thailand flood victims.

Christina Chintanaphol, co-president of Thai Club, said NU Stands with Thailand’s online donation page received about $1,700, and the remaining funding came from Thai tea, food and t-shirt sales the group has held since Nov. 1.

“I think it’s been going pretty well,” the Weinberg and Bienen junior said. “People have actually taken interest in trying to learn about the situation.”

Funds from Thai Club’s efforts will assist victims of the worst floods Thailand has seen in 50 years, resulting in the deaths of 533 people and thousands of factory shutdowns, according to a Nov. 10 Reuters report. The floods are now spreading throughout Bangkok, the country’s capital.

The group donated its first thousand dollars to the Thai Red Cross on Nov. 7 and will donate the next thousand dollars soon, said SESP senior Emily Srisarajivakul, who helped initiate the campaign.

Last week, NU’s Associated Student Government officially recognized the campaign, allowing Thai Club to publicize its message to other cultural groups on campus. The club has worked closely with NU’s Asian Pacific American Coalition, which assisted the group with strategizing and selling t-shirts.

“It brought a lot of minds together, and it definitely brought the community together from what I see,” Srisarajivakul said about the campaign. “People are talking about it, people know about it, and I think raising awareness and educating people about Thailand was a big part of our campaign.”

Both the Center for Global Health at NU and the Asian American Studies Program have supported Thai Club’s fundraising efforts, as well as the Thai Nurses Association of Illinois.

In addition, NU alumni living in Thailand agreed to match funds raised by the group, Chintanaphol said.

Srisarajivakul said she is pleased with the success and increasing student interest in the campaign.

“It’s definitely exceeded my expectations,” Srisarajivakul said. “It really makes me happy to see so many people engaged and actually enthusiastic about what we’re doing.”

Thai Club will continue its efforts to raise $5,000 until the end of the quarter through the promotion of online donations and weekly t-shirt sales, Chintanaphol said.

Weinberg senior Sasi Rianterawongs, who helped Srisarajivakul start NU Stands with Thailand, said the campaign is playing a large role in raising awareness on campus about the Thailand flooding.

“Northwestern is a really active, diverse, supportive community,” Rianterawongs said. “Given the lack of media attention on this particular event, I feel like this campaign is really important to inform what’s going on in Thailand right now.”

laurencaruba2015@u.northwestern.edu

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