As thousands are feared dead and many more left homeless in the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, students and employees at West Virginia University are mobilizing relief efforts for survivors of the monster storm.

On Tuesday, Sept. 6, the WVU Student Health Advisory Boardalong with the Student Government Association, fraternities and sororities, Campus Crusade for Christ and many other student organizationswill launch a two-week, campuswide fund-raiser calledDollars for Disaster: Hurricane Katrina Relief.

Student volunteers will accept donations from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sept. 6-9, 12-16 and 19-20 in the Mountainlair and Health Sciences Center (outside the HSC cafeteria).

SHAB is coordinating theDollars for Disasterfund-raiser through the River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. The money will help the Red Cross provide food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to people devastated by the hurricane, said to be the worst natural disaster in the United States since the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

This is a way for the WVU and Morgantown communities to show we care and directly help those devastated by Hurricane Katrina,said Lisa Costello, SHAB president and fund-raiser organizer.We are calling on students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni to make financial donations of $1 or more for the cause.

University departments and student organizations are encouraged to collect and donate as units, she added. Every unit will be recognized on a display in theLair.

Cash and checks will be accepted. Checks should be made out to ARC Hurricane Katrina. If people would like their donations to go to a designated state, they may note that in the memo line. Donations should be mailed to: SHAB /WVU Health Service, P.O. Box 9247, Morgantown, WV 26506 .

As with last years tsunami fund-raiser that raised more than $10,000, each person who lends a hand is encouraged to sign his or her name on ahandmade out of paper. Thesehandswill be available at the collection sites and exhibited in theLair.

For more information or to volunteer with the SHAB fund-raiser, e-mail shabwvu@yahoo.com .

Other student fund-raising events in the works

Student organizations in the WVU Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, meanwhile, are also pitching in with relief efforts. The Society of Professional Journalists, Diversity in the Media Association, Ad Club and Public Relations Student Society of America are uniting to organize aWVU Journalists for Hurricane Reliefraffle to raise money for hurricane victims.

Thousands of dollars in donated items have already been collected, and students plan to launch the raffle at the Sept. 10 WVU -Wofford football game at Milan Puskar Stadium. Tickets will also be sold the week of Sept. 12 on campus with the drawing Sept. 17 at the Wine and Jazz Festival at Camp Muffly.

* WVU , other state colleges join forces to help displaced students

While University-wide relief efforts are under way, the West Virginia Campus Compact, operated from WVU , is also busy communicating with its 17 member colleges and universities to see if there is space available to house and educate the thousands of students displaced by the storm.

Kim Colebank, director of WVU s Office of Service Learning Programs, is coordinating outreach efforts with Jerry Beasley, Concord University president and WVCC Presidents Council chair.

Were currently conducting an availability assessment,she said,to see if food and residence halls are available so we can invite them to our schools. Were focusing on immediate reliefhow we can accommodate them and get them here.

Two students from Tulane University, meanwhile, have been admitted here, WVU officials said, and a third student will speak with University officials Friday.

School of Journalism officials say they will provisionally accept any journalism students, who attend colleges and universities in the affected areas, for the fall semester and help them find housing.

WVU s medical and law schools may also be asked to accommodate students whose training and education has been interrupted by the disaster. Those arrangements will be made over the next several weeks through their associations.

Colebank said student volunteers are needed to make phone calls. If anyone is interested in getting involved, they can call 304-293-8761 and talk to Chris Willis, a volunteer with the Office of Service Learning Programs.

WVU has some 185 students from Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and South Florida attending classes and wants to hear from anyone experiencing family difficulties or loss. Call the Student Infoline at 304-293-5555. For counseling services, call the Carruth Center at 304- 293-4431.

*From cyberspace to your streetother ways to help

Outreach groups across north-central West Virginia and the region continued their efforts for the people caught in Katrinas path.

The United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties will stage aresponse and recovery collectionof cash and checks Sept. 9 at WVU Hospitals, the Monongalia County Courthouse, Mountaineer Mall and The Dominion Post /W.Va. Radio Corp. offices in Sabraton.

Donations will be accepted at the following times and locations:

  • 7-9 a.m.East lobby, Ruby Memorial Hospital
  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m.Cafeteria, Ruby Memorial Hospital
  • 2-4 p.m.East lobby, Ruby Memorial Hospital
  • 2-4 p.m.Lobby, Chestnut Ridge Hospital

In addition, donations may be dropped off at Clinical Program Development and Hospital Administration, both on Rubys second floor, through Friday, Sept. 16.

WVU Hospitals will match employee contributions up to $10,000 in that effort. Call 304-296-7525 for more information.

Blood drives will be hosted by the Mountain Laurel Chapter of the American Red Cross today (Sept.1) from 2-7 p.m. at the Bruceton Mills Fire Hall in neighboring Preston County; and tomorrow (Friday, Sept. 2) from 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the Morgantown Blood Center, on Pineview Drive.

A blood drive will also be held at WVU Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 1-7 p.m. at Arnold Hall on the Downtown Campus.

The organization is also encouraging monetary donations for the relief effort. Call 304-598-9500 or (800) HELP -NOW for details.

Morgantowns detachment of the Salvation Army is also accepting donations, as it readies to send its own staffers to the hurricane area. For more information, call 304-296-3525 or visit your local Wal-Mart or Sams Club.

EDEN , the national Extension Disaster Education Network also has a list of online resources atwww.eden.lsu.edu/; and people can also track down family members at colleges and universities in the affected areas by joining aKatrina Communityonline at The Society for College and University Planning. That URL iswww.scup.org/.

�€~Waiting for the next storm

As the battered Gulf Coast rebuilds in the months ahead, theres more than a good chance that WVU will play a role in the emotional health and well-being of the endeavor. The Universitys Job Accommodation Network is an international service that provides consulting for businesses whose employees are grappling with physical and emotional issues.

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks the network known as JAN fielded hundreds of calls from the New York-Washington area from frazzled personnel managers wondering how to best accommodate employees suddenly finding themselves in the throes of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dr. Deborah Hendricks, who oversees JAN s expects more of the same in the months ahead, courtesy of Katrina.

Its like one storm has passed and were waiting for the next one to hit,Hendricks said.You cant �€~shake offa devastating hurricane. We just want people to know were to help, when they need us.

For more information, call Hendricks at 304-293-7186, or visit JAN online atwww.jan.wvu.edu.