Lynn University holds day of service for students, teachers who died in Haiti earthquake

BOCA RATON, FLA. (WSVN) - Lynn University held a day of service to honor the six students and professors who were killed in the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

The group traveled to Haiti for a service project when, on Jan. 12, 2010, they died after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the island.

Ten years later, the students at Lynn University on Friday did another service project in memory of their classmates and professors while making a local impact in Palm Beach County.

Hundreds of students lined up to pack 800 bookbags filled with pajamas, blankets, socks, stuffed animals and personalized notes written for each foster child, with one reading “You’re beautiful,” and another saying “Your future is full of hope.”

“We put together this bag, and in this bag goes blankets and pajamas and socks and all of the things that you and I might take for granted,” vice president of academic affairs Katrina Carter-Tellison said. “These things help to give dignity to these children.”

The comfort bags will go to foster kids in the area who, according to organizers, have very little possessions, and the comfort cases will give them some dignity and something of their own.

“Kids who enter the system will not be handed a trash bag but will be handed a comfort case, and I’m telling you something, the look in these kids’ eyes is something you’ll never, ever imagine,” comfort case project organizer Rob Scheer said. “They feel, finally, that they do matter. They’re not invisible, and they’re not disposable.”

“The day the earthquake struck, they just finished their first day of service,” student Lizbeth Diaz Rodriguez said. “This is our day of service, like we’re packing the care packets for these kids, so we’re trying to, like, remember them and honoring them by doing something that they were doing before they passed away.”

“We’re just trying to help them out a little bit, get them some necessities to try and live better, you know?” student Vincent Puliz said.

It’s been 10 years since the deadly earthquake rocked Haiti, and faculty at Lynn University say that the best way to honor their classmates and professors is to change the lives of others.

“You don’t have to travel far and wide to make a difference,” Carter-Tellison said. “You can be right here and do something to change someone’s life.”

Students have delivered the comfort cases to local community partners.

The school will hold a private service to remember the six students and professors on the 10th anniversary of the Haiti earthquake on Sunday, Jan. 12.

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