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Volume 71, Issue 11, Tuesday, September 6, 2005


Campus community helps victims 
of Katrina in a number of ways

By Deandra Herron
The Daily Cougar

Various UH organizations and colleges are developing projects to aid in supporting the relief efforts many Houstonians have already begun. 

"We know there are a wide range of needs right now. There may be some who need medical attention for a pre-existing visual impairment while others may only need a replacement set of glasses," Dean of UH College of Optometry Earl L. Smith said. "In either case, we are here to help and will do whatever we can to help our Louisiana neighbors."

Evacuees will receive a 70 percent discount for eye exams and glasses will be sold at wholesale rates. Clients without insurance or adequate funds will not be turned away. The University Eye Institute will provide many services free of charge.

"There will be no charge for replacing glasses," Eric Slocumb, marketing manager for the College of Optometry, said. 

The college's faculty, students and alumni have banded together to provide replacement glasses and critical eye care for those displaced by Katrina. 

"As optometrists, we each got into this field for a primary reason -- to help others," said Smith. "These people need our help, and the (college) will do its part to make sure that happens."

The full-fledged eye care center will be available to evacuees in the Astrodome for the duration of their stay, Slocumb said.

"We want to make sure that everyone that has been displaced from the storm has the access to the highest quality of eye care as possible," Slocumb said. "(Associate Dean of Professional Advancement in the college) Marcus Piccolo is working out the logistics with the city (of Houston) and Red Cross," Slocumb said.

The University Eye Institute Executive Director and Chief of Medical Services Nick Holdeman said the clinic takes pride in providing high quality vision care. 

"We encourage anyone impacted by Hurricane Katrina to call and make arrangements to come in," he said.

Other organizations will be dedicating time to help provide resources to the evacuees,

"It would be beneficial if we are able to put our efforts together instead of doing something here and there," Metropolitan Volunteer Program member Justina Wariya said. 

MVP began collecting toys, clothing and supplies Friday. 

T-shirts will be given to those making donations. MVP is located in the University Center Underground. 

The Muslim Student Association has taken a different route to provide support.

MSA will be selling blue-and-white ribbons for $1 on campus and donating their proceeds to The American Red Cross. They can be found at the MVP office or from a member of the MSA.

Canned food can be dropped off at the following locations: The Wellness Center; Campus Recreation and Wellness Center; The Women's Resource Center; UH Police Department; and Learning Assessment Services (on the second floor of Student Service Center 1).

Some offer discounted services, while others collect donations. 

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