University of Calgary

Haskayne targets families, students, small businesses for flood relief

UToday HomeJuly 3, 2013

These boots were made for volunteering – passed along from Haskayne staff member Micheline Campanaro to a “bootless” volunteer.These boots were made for volunteering – passed along from Haskayne staff member Micheline Campanaro to a “bootless” volunteer.Students, staff and faculty at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business are taking care of flood business in the ways they know best. The school community has self-organized into three committees, each with a focus on helping a specific segment of the population affected by the flood: families, students, and small businesses.

In the first wave of action, a group of 30 volunteers took three carloads of cleaning supplies donated by Haskayners to the Mission-Roxboro neighbourhood on Saturday morning. Decked out in rubber boots and Haskayne T-shirts, they pitched in to help muck out yards and basements. “It was an incredible experience,” says organizer Micheline Campanaro. “Dirty work but a lot of fun too, and inspiring to see how community comes together. We had 30 students, staff and faculty as part of the cleanup crew and many more donated supplies and funds.”

When Campanaro was done for the day, she donated her rubber boots to an eager volunteer who was bootless. Her committee is continuing to collect needed items: fresh PJs, socks, blankets and toys for children, and toiletry and pantry items for affected seniors. These will be passed on to appropriate community agencies. The business school is also collecting food for the SU food bank at its Stampede breakfast on July 3.

And the muddiest volunteer of the day award goes to… Sandeep Kaur, one of three international MBA students who were part of Haskayne’s cleanup crew.And the muddiest volunteer of the day award goes to… Sandeep Kaur, one of three international MBA students who were part of Haskayne’s cleanup crew.Closer to home, Haskayne’s student-focused committee plans to work with the university’s Students’ Union to determine how many current students are in need of housing and household goods, as well as co-ordinate a plan to assist them. In anticipation of a tighter rental housing market for students starting in September, the committee is developing a community outreach plan with suggestions for helping those students who may not be able to find rental accommodation.

The “takin’ care of business” committee has come up with a multi-pronged approach to help home businesses and small-to-medium sized businesses (SME) get back up and running and plan for the future. The Haskayne group is reaching out to Calgary business associations to collaborate on recovery programs. Plans also call for a needs assessment to determine what SMEs need most in the short-term, a documentation resource to help business owners navigate the form-filling-out they’ll need to do, as well as a free seminar series featuring faculty experts on insurance and risk, emergency planning and response and small business essentials.

Student groups already involved in social entrepreneurism – ENACTUS, the MBA Society and Global Business Brigades – are being consulted to determine their availability for mobilizing to help Calgary. Finally, the committee is looking at setting up a micro-financing funding arrangement. More details to be available in the coming weeks.

Do you need flood assistance? Would you like to volunteer to help others affected by flooding in southern Alberta? Sign up under one of the flood assistance options offered to the University of Calgary community.