A “sense of helplessness” moved Haitian native and Trinity alumnus Jean-Raymond Desruisseaux, Jr., ’07, into action after the earthquake in Haiti struck. Desruisseaux organized a fundraising event for Haiti on Thursday, January 21, at Southport Lanes in Chicago.
Planning and working with friends, Desruisseaux secured donations from neighboring businesses for a silent auction. “People came out of the woodwork,” Desruisseaux said, recalling how businesses put aside profits and personal gain to help his cause.
More than 140 guests attended the fundraiser, which raised over $5,000 for Haiti, with $3,000 from the silent auction alone.
Desruisseaux and his family are originally from Haiti and lost three relatives in the earthquake. They were unable to contact family members in Haiti until days after the earthquake, and he said there was a feeling of helplessness, wanting to be there to help and knowing he couldn’t.
Desruisseaux said he is happy to see the efforts people are making to help Haiti and to see young Haitians mobilizing to bring aid to the country. Disasters like this “remind you of what’s important in this life,” he said.
As a student at Trinity, Desruisseaux was actively involved in the Sunday Snacks program, in which students delivered packed lunches to the homeless in Chicago. He also wrote for the Courier and was a member of the Law and Politics Society. He majored in political science and has plans to attend law school.