NU Red Cross raises money, awareness for Superstorm Sandy

Amanda Gilbert, Reporter

NU Red Cross continued to raise money and awareness for Superstorm Sandy relief efforts Thursday through a benefit concert and silent auction.

Proceeds from the event will be donated to the American Red Cross disaster relief fund. During the event, students bid on donated items from Mayfest, Norris Bookstore, the American Red Cross and other organizations. The items included a fleece blanket, photo prints, pottery pieces, Dillo Day shirts and Red Cross sweatshirts.

During the auction, students watched performances by groups such as Freshman Fifteen, ReFresH, TONIK Tap, Boomshaka and Mee-Ow.

Ben Kahn, co-president of NU Red Cross, said Superstorm Sandy did not receive the attention it deserves. It was the second-most costly hurricane in U.S. history and severely damaged more than 650,000 homes.

“Funds coming in to the Red Cross campaign have drastically fallen,” Kahn said. “Catastrophes like this deserve a lot of attention.”

He said some money raised from Thursday night’s event will also help fund relief efforts for destruction from this week’s devastating tornado in Oklahoma, which killed 24 people. More than 35,000 are still without power because of the severe weather in that region.

“Tonight is a reminder to the students that relief efforts are ongoing,” Kahn said. “Relief efforts are ongoing and you can make a difference.”

The organization also partnered with F&F Marketing for the Flooded House Campaign, which asked students to like the NU Red Cross Facebook page and post a photo of the belongings they would take in case of a disaster.

Kahn announced Weinberg sophomore Mohamad Akef as the campaign’s winner at the end of the benefit concert. Akef was given a $25 American Express gift card. Some items in his photo included sandals, a lanyard and a shirt with the word “Egypt” written on it.

F&F Project director Marcus Lee said the group decided to partner with NU Red Cross for the campaign because it wanted to raise awareness of a campus group’s worthwhile cause.

“We get wrapped up in midterms and other exams. We forget to be conscious about other things going on in the world around us,” said Lee, a Medill junior. “This event shows us that Northwestern students are really trying to be active about philanthropic things.”

He said the event was also important because it allowed various performance groups to come together for an important cause.

“A lot of really great artists came out today,” Lee said. “It’s been great, and it’s spreading awareness about issues college students aren’t thinking about.”