March 1, 2010

Volleyball Alum Turned Medical Student Launches "Haiti Orphan Project" With SSU Athletes

tylermanton.jpgThe Sonoma State University Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), who initiated the outreach program "Bubbles for Troubles," is teaming up with a former SSU student-athlete to coordinate the "Haiti Orphan Project".

Taylor Manton, who played for the Seawolves' volleyball team between 2004-07, will travel to Santo Domingo to provide basic healthcare services for young Haitian refugees affected by the devastating earthquake that destroyed Haiti on Jan. 12.

A recent graduate of Sonoma State University and a University of Southern California medical student beginning this fall, Manton is leaving for the capital city of the Dominican Republic on Mar. 27, in partnership with the International Service Learning program, to care for those orphans who were displaced by the quake.

Jennifer Russo, the President of SAAC and current member of the women's basketball team, and Lindsay Brown, the Vice President for Community Outreach and a member of the volleyball team in each of the previous four years, have been working on the project "Bubbles For Troubles" this year.

This program, with the help of the 13 athletic teams at SSU, encourages people to donate small toiletry items, such as soaps and shampoos, to help disprivileged families with basic hygiene needs.

With the need for these items in Haiti after the natural disaster that affected an estimated three million people, the "Bubbles For Troubles" project is shifting some of its attention to helping Manton bring much needed supplies to the ones most affected by the quake.

Along with basic hygiene items, there is a huge lack of medical resources and access to medical supplies, such as anti-inflammatory, anti-acid, anti-histaminic and anti- allergy medications.

"As student-athletes at Sonoma State, we take pride in reaching out to our community, but we also want to take pride in caring for people worldwide," Russo said. "I think it is an awesome thing that Taylor is doing and we're doing everything we can do to help her."

Manton's nine-day trip (Mar. 27-Apr. 4) to assist with the recovery efforts will cost her about $2,500 and is looking for monetary donations to help fund her traveling expenses.

For more information on how to donate money and/or supplies for Manton's trip, or how to contribute to SAAC's "Bubbles For Troubles" project, please visit

Jean Wasp
Media Relations Coordinator
University Affairs
(707) 664-2057