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Volume 7, Issue 4                                    University of Houston

Campus drive gathers relief supplies for tsunami victims

By Matt Dulin
Breaking News Staff

Houstonís Solution for Tsunami Victims began as a relief drive Sunday that collected hundreds of boxes of medical supplies at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center, but continues today with supply drop-off locations at every Houston Fire Department station.

The drive, spearheaded by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, seeks medicines, surgical gloves, bandages and other medical supplies as well as infant goods like formula and bottles.

"Itís the least we can do to help when weíre halfway around the world," said Victoria Young, a woman from Southwest Houston who dropped off several packages of diapers.

Pin Lim/Breaking News

U.S. Rep Sheila Jackson Lee, left, and Houston Police Chief Harold Hurtt greet Indonesian Ambassador Soemadi D.M. Brotodiningrat, right, during a relief drive Sunday for victims of the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 150,000 people in Southeast Asia.

Dozens of contributions were made by Houstonians who drove to the campus, unloading their cars and trucks, and a few big donations came from area businesses. The makers of Invisible Armor, based in Beaumont, donated $10,000 worth of their anti-bacterial lotion.

The Dec. 26 disaster claimed more than 150,000 lives, and relief organizations have identified medical supplies as the one of the most immediate needs.

Lee said she had visited with Soemadi D.M. Brotodiningrat, the Indonesian ambassador to the United States, to learn more about the crisis and what the city could do to help.

"The scale and the magnitude of this disaster is such that we are simply overwhelmed," Brotodiningrat said. "Many lost everything. We must bring back (the survivorsí) dignified lives."

Also present voicing their support on Sunday were Houston Mayor Bill White, UH President Jay Gogue and congressmen Ted Poe and Al Green, who said he would join Lee in visiting the areas affected by the disaster next week.

Some 900 UH students have direct ties to the affected areas in Southeast Asia, Gogue said, underscoring how disasters far away can hit close to home. Many of the more than 50 volunteers on hand were UH students, faculty or staff members, organizers said.

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