From establishing a temporary medical clinic at Camp Dawson and providing recreational equipment for the victims of the Gulf Coast stormto admitting and waiving fees for students from southern colleges and mobilizing a concentrated fund-raising driveWest Virginia University continues to add to its oasis of aid for the survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
Some 200 evacuees from the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast have taken shelter at Camp Dawson, a National Guard training camp around 30 miles from the Morgantown campus in neighboring Preston County. WVU established a temporary medical clinic at the camp, which ran 24 hours a day for the first two days of its operation. It is now operating 8 a.m.-8 p.m., but will go back to its around-the-clock operation, if necessary.
Counselors from WVU s Faculty Staff Assistance Program are enroute today to assist with emotional needs of evacuees.
And, over the weekend, WVU s School of Physical Education provided recreational equipment to the temporary residents so they could enjoy some much needed outdoor exercise.
Representatives from the Department of Foreign Languages were also on hand to offer translators who could offer critical communication links between patients and health care providers, when needed.
The camp right now is fully stocked with medical supplies and other necessary supplies for day-to-day living, officials say, but here is a need for high chairs for the infant and toddler population.
For information on how WVU students and employees can donate funds or needed items, call Kim Colebank, WVU Office for Service Learning, 304-293-8761 ext. 4482, or email Kimberly.firstname.lastname@example.org .
The work here has really just begun,said Becky Lofstead, director of WVU News and Information Services.And Kim and the staff at Service Learning will be the central point for coordinating WVU s relief efforts for what may be the most catastrophic U.S. natural disaster of our lifetime.
Our goal is essentially to support the efforts of the National Guard, FEMA and other federal relief agencies,she added.We see ourselves as a resource for these groups. So, if WVU units and employees are planning fund drives and collections, please do so through the staff at the Office of Service Learning, who will communicate that information to our office for continual dissemination.
Doctors and �€~Dollars
While desperately needed medical personnel have been shoring up the effort at Camp Dawson, the WVU community is continuing its call for dollars to add to the good work being done in the field. The University today (Sept. 6) launched its campus-wideDollars for Disasterfundraiser through a regional chapter of the American Red Cross.
The drive is being coordinated by WVU Student Health Advisory Board, the Student Government Association and several organizations including sororities, fraternities, and a Campus Crusade for Christ chapter.
Student volunteers are accepting donations from 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. today (Sept. 6) through Friday, and Sept. 12-16 and 19-20 in the Mountainlair student union and Robert. C. Byrd Health Sciences Center (outside the HSC cafeteria).
Both 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 can also be mailed to: SHAB /WVU Health Service, P.O. Box 9247, Morgantown, WV 26506 .
The United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties in the meantime will stage aresponse and recovery collectionof cash and checks Friday, Sept. 9, at WVU Hospitals, the Monongalia County Courthouse, Mountaineer Mall and The Dominion Post /W.Va. Radio Corp. offices in Sabraton.
WVU Hospitals will match employee contributions up to $10,000 in that effort. Call 304-296-7525 for more information.
Here are the collection sites for that drive:
* 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
The Morgantown Red Cross is also hosting a Wednesday (Sept. 7) blood drive from 1-7 p.m. at Arnold Hall, on the downtown campus.
A kickoff for a cause
WVU s student-athletes will line up to ask for donations during Saturdays (Sept. 10) 6 p.m. home football opener against Wofford at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Three clearly marked collection points will be in place at the east, west and north areas of the stadium. All proceeds will directly go the American Red Cross and its hurricane relief effort.
The Student Government Association will also accept donations and offer hurricane information during Friday eveningsFanFestevent, the traditional celebration that marks the first home football game of the season.
Fund-raising particulars and a Katrina note for the campus community
WVU s Faculty Staff Assistance Program Office will be closed this week due to Dr. Cheryl Rileys move to Camp Dawson for counseling support and services to Katrina victims, through the American Red Cross. Employees needing critical services should go to nearest emergency room for services.
Campus groups wishing to launch hurricane relief efforts are reminded to coordinate through the Office of Service Learning. Info: 293-8761, ext. 4482.
WVU has also set up a website to post all information related to these relief efforts at http://www.wvu.edu/katrina/