Penn students raise more than $20,000 for Japan relief

Penn students have acted with deliberate speed to raise money to help the people of Japan recover from last month’s devastating earthquake and tsunami.

In less than a month, campus groups have raised more than $20,000 from a variety of fundraisers and charity drives that have included sales of t-shirts and a CD containing music from Penn a cappella organizations. The funds will be donated to Japan earthquake/tsunami relief efforts.

The Penn Japan Relief Fund, led by the University’s Japan Student Association (JSA), has set up donation boxes on Locust Walk and throughout campus. The JSA is also selling t-shirts for $20 with “Pray For Japan” printed on the front. The shirts are available on Locust Walk and online.

Sigma Psi Zeta sorority has joined with student a cappella groups to offer “The UPenn Voices for Japan” CD for $10. The disk features songs by the Counterparts, Dischord, Off the Beat, the Penn Glee Club, Penn Masala, PennSori, PennYo and Quaker Notes.

Sophomore Florence Sit came up with the idea for the CD after seeing a bake sale fundraiser on Locust Walk and a cappella groups promoting their organizations a few feet away. She describes the CD fundraiser as a “win-win-win” for everyone involved.

“The UPenn Japan Relief Fund will be able to raise more money with tangible CDs to give in exchange for people’s generous donations,” she says. “The a cappella groups will get free publicity as more people on campus become aware of their amazing musical talents, and it would give our sorority a chance to branch out of our comfort zone and help those desperately in need.”

The sorority is selling the CDs on Locust Walk, online and on Facebook.

On March 24, the JSA, the Asian Pacific Student Coalition, Lambda Phi Epsilon fraternity and the Oracle Senior Honor Society hosted a Japan Relief Benefit Dinner and student performance program in the Hall of Flags in Houston Hall.

In addition, an April 2 cooking competition, modeled after Food Network’s “Iron Chef” program, brought together teams of student groups for a cook-off in the Kings Court dining hall.

For more information about Penn’s ongoing relief initiatives and ways to help Japan recover from the tragedy, visit the University website.

Originally published on April 7, 2011