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Students search out clothing for quake victims

Fundraising dinner to be held tonight

In an effort to help the millions of earthquake victims in India and Pakistan, the Organization of Pakistani Students is asking the BU community for the clothes off their backs.

On Thursday, October 20, the OPS held a candlelight vigil in Marsh Plaza; a candle was lit for every $2 donated to earthquake relief. Friday, October 21, is the final day of a clothing drive at the George Sherman Union, and Friday evening the organization will hold a fundraising dinner.

“Pakistani and Indian students have a close connection to both of these countries and feel a need to do something to help,” says Aziza Hussain (COM’08), who worked with OPS to organize the clothing drive. “Hurricane relief is important, but Pakistan does not have the resources or the funds to rebuild or to help the people suffering because of the earthquake. And the damages there are far more severe.”

The clothing drive is the center of the OPS campaign; approximately three million people were left homeless in the aftermath of the October 8 quake, and relief workers fear that the number of casualties — currently estimated at more than 40,000 — will rise as winter approaches. Temperatures are already dropping below freezing in parts of the region, the Associated Press reported this week.

Students will be in the GSU from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. seeking warm clothing and blankets; Pakistan International Airlines has volunteered to fly the items collected to Pakistan for free. “This is a wonderful opportunity,” Hussain says.

The fundraising dinner, open to all University students, faculty, and staff, will be held in the lounge at 1019 Commonwealth Ave. at 5:30 p.m. Several local Indian and Pakistani restaurants will cater the event. Tickets are $10.

The OPS is planning to hold additional events later in the semester. For more information, visit the group’s Web site or e-mail pakistan@bu.edu.