With a cheek-to-cheek smile and a rainbow-brimmed sombrero, Yazmin Gonzalez Palacios greeted students as they entered Student Commons and accepted donations for Mexico earthquake relief efforts.
Gonzalez Palacios, an Algonquin student, organized the fundraiser that ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. around the college to help the rebuilding of Mexican cities and towns affected by a magnitude 5.9 earthquake that struck Mexico on Sept. 24.
“When you’re away from your family, from your home, it’s difficult when things like this happen,” said Gonzalez Palacios. “You can’t do much to help– that’s why we’re doing this.”
Four Mexican students, including Gonzalez Palacios, and another six volunteers are running the fundraiser.
Students are encouraged to donate cash or gently used items to the cause. All funds raised will be sent to Mexico through the Canadian Red Cross.
“My brother was one of the first people to help when (the earthquake) happened,” said Mexican student Carlos Brieto, a volunteer with Gonzalez Palacios’s fundraiser. “It was so hard to talk to him. We knew we had to do something.”
Brieto is happy to help with this initiative that will help his family, and others, in Mexico.
The first fundraiser has seen much success and has brought the Algonquin community together, something Brieto is grateful for.
“People from other countries have helped out as well. So, it’s nice the unity in the school,” said Brieto. “We couldn’t be happier about the support we’re getting.”
Two more fundraisers are planned for Oct. 4 and Oct. 6. Tables will be set up in Student Commons, B-building and the ACCE building.