Pledging $10,000 in Savings, Librarian Raises More Than $20,000 for Haiti Relief

Valdosta State librarian Cliff Landis reaches deep in his pockets--and is touched by the quick response

Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 1/20/2010

Cliff Landis, Technology Librarian at Valdosta State University’s (GA) Odum Library, was so upset by the devastation in Haiti that, on January 14, he decided he would raise $20,000 in earthquake relief, contributing $10,000 in matching funds through the end of February.
“I spent a hefty chunk of my savings on presents this last Christmas, and I don’t regret a minute of it,” he wrote. “I was planning on building my savings back up this year, but I think the folks in Haiti (and other poverty-stricken areas in the world) can use that money a lot more.”
“I’m not [a] millionaire–in fact, $10,000 is almost all of my savings,” he wrote in response to a comment. “But I figure that it will do Partners in Health a lot more good than it does me sitting in my bank account. I’m a healthy and happy person with a good job as a librarian, and I trust that with hard work, I will always have enough money. This is my way of giving back for all the blessings that I get every day!”

Just three days

It took just three days for the total to rise on his Partners in Health donation page, a process he also chronicled on Twitter.
“The generosity that I’ve seen is astounding,” he wrote. “People have donated in lieu of going out for dinner. Folks who have been jobless for months have scraped together a donation.”
As of now, he’s raised $11,075 from 169 people, or an average of nearly $70/person, an effort that gained notice via DailyKos.
A thank-you video

On January 17, Landis posted a silent video with his message on storyboards.

“I can’t really talk right now…because every time I try, I cry,” he stated, citing the devastation in Haiti and the generosity he’d seen, a response that has provided faith and hope and love and inspiration. And yes, he says, there's still an opportunity to give to Partners in Health or other charities.

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