Social Work Student from Haiti Assists in Relief Effort
Updated: Thursday, Jan. 21, 5:45 p.m.
Blondine Alexandre, a University of Maryland, Baltimore student
who was raised in Haiti, has been actively supporting the relief effort. A master's degree student in the School of Social Work, she began volunteering at the Haitian Embassy in Washington, D.C., last week at a time when she was still seeking word of family members.
Her brother works in communications with the World Bank in Port-au-Prince and her father was visiting Haiti when the earthquake occurred. This Washington television interview with Alexandre aired at 11 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15.
The following day, Jan. 16, Alexandre spoke to her father in a phone call limited to one minute and learned that he and her brother were safe. On Jan. 19, she received mixed news, learning that an uncle and his family had survived but that a cousin had not.
She and others from the School of School Work went to the Haitian Embassy last weekend, joining dozens of people who collected nonperishable items to be sent to the disaster victims.
The Greater Washington Haiti Relief Committee (GWHRC) expressed thanks online to the many supporters. "The outpouring of volunteers and donations this past Sunday at the embassy and on Monday at the warehouse was truly an exceptional example of compassion and public spirit," the statement says.
The GWHRC has established a website for volunteers wishing to help the relief efforts, from those who can sort and pack donated items to those who answer phones. "We remain in need of volunteers who can provide services locally," the GWHRC says. Alexandre, for example, was scheduled to volunteer at the embassy on Friday, Jan. 22.
At the embassy last Sunday, Alexandre and fellow School of Social Work student Judith Kuzmak were pictured with Firmin Backer, left, head of the GWHRC.