RIT’s Online Campaign to Help Earthquake Victims in Pakistan Yields Two Tons of Gear

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More than two tons of winter gear and clothes will be sent to survivors of the recent deadly earthquake in Pakistan thanks to an online grassroots effort started by faculty and students at Rochester Institute of Technology.

The Web site www.QuakeHelp.net called upon communities in Rochester and across the country to donate camping equipment desperately needed for hundreds of thousands of victims left homeless by October’s earthquake. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton helped facilitate coordination between RIT and UPS and, because of Clinton’s involvement, UPS has offered to ship all of the winter survival gear collected in Rochester to Pakistan free of charge.

UPS will pick up the supplies from Snow Country in Pittsford Plaza at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Organizers will be on hand for the sendoff.

“This is such a wonderful act of kindness to a group of people who are suffering so much,” says Sen. Clinton. “RIT’s online campaign has generated so much support that we were thrilled when UPS said they would ship all of the donated gear free of charge. The people of Rochester and so many others from around the country have clearly opened their hearts and they should be commended for their incredible efforts to help the victims of the devastating earthquake in Pakistan.”

“UPS appreciates the opportunity to work with Rochester Institute of Technology and Sen. Clinton’s office on such a worthwhile project,” says Evern Cooper Epps, president of the UPS Foundation. “Our efforts to help the victims of the earthquake in Pakistan support our mission to be a responsible corporate citizen on a global scale.”

Since QuakeHelp.net launched in November, 20 drop-off sites were set up in six states. “The outpouring of donations has been tremendous in Rochester and in cities across the country,” says Jon Schull, IT professor at RIT who spearheaded the Web site. “I would like to thank Snow Country in Pittsford Plaza for being the first Rochester area company to get on board with this worthy cause. And if it were not for the generous support from UPS and Sen. Clinton’s assistance, we would still be soliciting monetary donations to offset shipping costs. Time is of the essence with the start of the winter season in Pakistan.”