SUNY Canton Foundation Creates Haitian Student Relief Fund

Proceeds to benefit students who were affected by the devastating earthquakes

The SUNY Canton Foundation has begun a campaign to help SUNY Canton students from the devastated nation of Haiti.

“We’ve seen both immediate and long-term needs that we can help address through our own SUNY Canton Haitian Student Relief Fund,” said SUNY Canton Librarian and Haitian Fund Chair Kathleen Horton. “We’ll be reaching out to raise the money necessary to provide our own specialized relief efforts, which are intended to benefit students who are attending the College. As with any initiative, our first priority is the health and well being of our students.”

STUDENTS HELPING STUDENTS – SUNY Canton Individual Studies Student Marquise Paillere (left) was left stranded in Port of Prince Haiti after the earthquakes. Her roommate, Management student Xiaoli Zhang, who goes by “Lilly” raised $200 to help Paillere get a bus to the Dominican Republic, and asked SUNY Canton to help fly her home. The SUNY Canton Foundation provided the airfare to get Paillere home and the two were reunited a day after classes began.

Some immediate needs will include purchasing textbooks and funding tuition for students whose families have been affected by the earthquake. Future and tentative goals potentially include sending the SUNY Canton Chapter of Habitat for Humanity to Haiti to aid in the rebuilding efforts. Several faculty and staff members at the College have already come forward to donate to the cause.

“We were initially asked to help a student return to her studies when she was left stranded in Haiti during the winter break,” noted Daniel J. Sweeney, Vice President of Student Affairs. “Through the Foundation, we were able to secure her a plane ticket back and she was able to rejoin her classes.”

SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy contributes to the SUNY Canton Haitian Relief Fund in the Richard W. Miller Campus Center.

To launch the campaign, and to aid in the creation of the SUNY Canton Haitian Relief Fund, students have begun collecting donations, according to the College’s Diversity and Orientation Director Lashawanda Ingram.

“Upon returning to SUNY Canton, students immediately began looking for ways to help,” she said. “The SUNY Canton Haitian Students Fund gives them the perfect opportunity to help their fellow students. We have already set up several collection points on campus and people have been wonderful in supporting our initial efforts.”

Ingram said that the students plan to set up donation points from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, at Kinney Drugs and Tops Market (formerly P&C Foods) in Canton.

The SUNY Canton College Association created ways for students to donate by using their Roo Express accounts, the College’s payment option linked to College identification cards. Students can swipe their cards at the Campus Center Store, or purchase a meal for victims while getting one themselves in Chaney Dining Center.

“Right now, we have about a dozen students that we know of with roots in Haiti,” noted SUNY Canton Director of Public Relations Randy B. Sieminski. “We are working to ease their transition back to College and looking to determine how we can best help them.”

For more information or to make a donation, contact the SUNY Canton Foundation at 315.386.7127, or email

Media inquiries should be directed to Gregory Kie, Media Relations Coordinator, or call 315/386-7528.

Tags: , , , , , ,

3 Responses to “SUNY Canton Foundation Creates Haitian Student Relief Fund”

  1. Kathleen Horton Says:

    Hi Everyone,

    As you may know, we have students here at SUNY Canton who have been severely affected by the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. Some have lost family members, others have family in desperate need, while still others find themselves struggling to provide for themselves or, minimally, not be a financial burden on their recovering family members.

    My work study student, Marquise Paillere, was stranded in Haiti when she went home during the break to visit her mother and family. Her roommate Xiaoli Zhang (Lilly) stepped in and raised enough money for a ten-hour bus ride away from the devastation to an airport in the Dominican Republic. Student Affairs Vice President Dan Sweeney then assisted in securing an airline ticket and transportation from the airport upon her arrival. Led by VP for Advancement Dave Gerlach, the SUNY Canton Foundation made provisions to pay for the plane ticket and get Marquise safely back on campus this week for the start of classes.

    And that, in a nutshell, demonstrates to me one of the College’s best qualities. We look out for each other and our students, and we help take care of one another.

    I ask that you consider supporting the SUNY Canton Haitian Relief Fund or consider a payroll deduction donation – you may designate an amount to be deducted from your paycheck. It is a wonderful way to make a difference in our students’ lives.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to call me or the SUNY Canton Foundation Office at ext. 7127 or email

  2. Marquise Paillere Says:

    Thank you to SUNY Canton, Thanks to Dean Sweeney for getting me to school safely, I appreciate all the help. Now that I am back, I am fine thanks to God. I understand now the only way I can pay back the school is my hard work and my success in my studies. I am trying to focus on school, but I am very worried about my mother. She’s handicapped over there by herself and it’s very dangerous because the earthquake is still going on. I’m attempting to get a passport for her but, I need to raise money for travel, legal, and medical help.

  3. F1rst Ladiiez Says:

    We are very sorry that something like this has happened to our people. We are all family! We all need to do as much as we can, because if it was our family members we would want the same thing. Please everyone Help out!!!
    Our Prayers Go Out To Our Haiti Students and Their Families.
    Love F1rst Ladiiez!

Leave a Reply