Santa Monica College teachers have joined local efforts to contribute to the Japan earthquake relief fund by pledging a total donation of $1,000.

At the March 31 meeting of the SMC Faculty Association, representatives for the college’s teachers voted unanimously to give financial support to the victims of the tragedy in Japan. The board, comprised of teachers from every department at the college, pledged a $500 donation to Mercy Corps, an organization with relief workers in Japan assisting in rescues and cleanup, and a $500 donation to Disabled Persons International, which gives support to the disabled in need of respirators and other life-saving assistance.

“Helping others is what teachers do” Faculty Association President Mitra Moassessi said. “We give to our communities, we spread our knowledge, and donating to the relief effort is just another way for us to give.”

The association’s donation to the two organizations was first proposed by Sandi Burnett, a teacher whose daughter studied international development.

“These organizations come highly recommended by organizations that track relief groups. Over 90 percent of the money donated ends up in the target community within days, not months,” Burnett said.

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