Thursday, February 02, 2006

Inside Binghamton University

Inside Binghamton University: "Students aid Katrina survivors

Jackie Farber, left, a Jewish Campus Service Corps fellow, and Jes Koss, a junior from White Plains, look at snapshots from their
As their airplane fl ew over Gulfport, Miss., students on their way to aid in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts were struck by the blue tarps covering so many houses. A week later, those tarps held a different signifi cance for the 10 volunteers from Hillel at Binghamton.

�OK, there are still a lot of tarps there, but in a week we took down 10 of them,� junior Jes Koss remembers thinking as the group flew home.

Nine students, accompanied by Jewish Campus Service Corps fellow Jackie Farber, stayed at a church in Gulfport and helped rebuild roofs at 10 houses in nearby Biloxi. They were stunned by the devastation they saw, but also by the Southern hospitality they experienced and by the hurricane survivors� upbeat attitudes.

�Everyone there was so nice, so happy we were there,� said Koss, 20, of White Plains. �It solidifi ed the idea that � whatever your faith is � when disaster strikes, you help.� Koss had volunteered with Habitat for Humanity before, but most of the volunteers didn�t have any construction experience.

�People from the church taught us what to do,� Farber said. �Then we climbed up on the roof and we did it. It�s amazing to see what you can accomplish when you have to.�

According to the Red Cross, Katrina destroyed 68,729 houses and apartments in Mississippi.

Another 65,237 suffered major damage and an estimated 100,318 had minor damage.

The houses where the Hillel volunteers worked had been cleared of debris, but no repairs could begin until the roofs were stable and the electricity was restored. Homeowner"

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A trend with legs as well as a heart - Business - International Herald Tribune

A trend with legs as well as a heart - Business - International Herald Tribune: "A trend with legs as well as a heart
By Thomas Crampton International Herald Tribune


DAVOS, Switzerland At this time last year, corporations great and small attending the World Economic Forum raced to contribute to the tsunami relief effort, spinning their contributions as proof of commitment to doing good.

A total of more than $11 billion was raised over the year for tsunami victims, including $1 billion from individuals and private businesses. That amount is more than 10 times larger than what was raised for any previous disaster, according to the International Business Leaders Forum, a group that promotes business involvement in development projects.

While the bumper year for crisis fund-raising did prompt some skepticism about short-term checkbook charity work, many attending Davos this year say a fundamental shift in corporate philanthropy is under way.

'In the last few years, companies have begun to move beyond traditional philanthropy and basic compliance into a new kind of corporate and social responsibility,' said Jane Nelson, director of the corporate responsibility program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. 'It is the new business environment that has prompted concrete steps by corporations.'

Critical shifts in the business environment highlighted by Nelson include a lower tolerance for bad behavior on the part of activists, and heightened compliance in the wake of Enron and other corporate scandals, combined with the global reach of even the most local media.

'Enron brought legislation to industry and, believe me, industry really does not like to be legislated,' said Alan Hassenfeld, chairman of the toy man"

FEMA to open apartments to displaced New Orleanians - Yahoo! News

FEMA to open apartments to displaced New Orleanians - Yahoo! News: "The federal government, criticized for taking too long to provide trailers to those made homeless by Hurricane Katrina, will give some New Orleanians rent-free apartments instead.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency plans this week to start housing displaced people in 325 apartments left empty when Katrina triggered a massive evacuation of the city. If the pilot program works, FEMA may house as many as 20,000 individuals and families in apartments. "