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September 15, 2005

Regional campuses assist relief efforts

Pitt’s four regional campuses also have stepped forward with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Following are some examples of those efforts.


Affiliates of Pitt-Bradford’s master of social work program and members of the Nontraditional Student Association are sponsoring Operation Blankets and Bears for youngsters affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The groups are seeking new, gender-neutral teddy bears and baby blankets, which will be distributed to children in Louisiana by volunteer students and professional mental health workers at the Louisiana State University School of Social Work.

Monetary donations also are being accepted to defray the cost of postage.

“With the aftermath of this unprecedented disaster, the psychological issues of loss and emotional trauma for some may take time to surface,” said Stephanie Eckstrom, coordinator of the UPB social work master’s program. “Having a personal comfort object may help in some small, meaningful way.”

For more information, contact Eckstrom at 814/362-7527; or Cheri Thomas at 814/362-6534;


The Greensburg campus is soliciting cash donations to aid hurricane survivors. The money will go the American Red Cross hurricane relief fund.

The project is being coordinated by Patty LaMantia, director of the UPG Student Health Service. LaMantia said she has blanketed the campus with e-mails asking for donations. She also has a contact person assigned to each campus building to expedite the collection process.

She can be contacted at 724/836-9947; e-mail:


The Pitt-Johnstown Staff Activities and Concerns Association has been collecting donations for Hurricane Katrina victims. Cash donations will be sent to the American Red Cross.

The organization also is collecting supplies that will be shipped by tractor trailer through the company of Fife, Williams, Mayflower, out of Washington, Pa.

The supplies collected are being sent to aid the victims who are being housed in Houston at the Astrodome. Supplies being collected include: canned goods; crackers; new shoes; new toys; school supplies; water; diapers and pull-ups; baby wipes; baby formula; baby food; juice boxes; toiletries, and feminine products.

UPJ has set up drop-off spots around the campus.

For more information, contact Andrea Leibfried, president of the UPJ SAC Association, at 814/269-2991.

The Johnstown campus also is sponsoring a crisis management seminar in October. UPJ’s Office of Outreach and Professional Services will host a specially designed, strengths-based approach seminar to help prepare mental health professionals and crisis responders.

“Evolution of Crisis Consultation” will be conducted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 21 and 22.

To register, call the Outreach Office at 814/269-2099 or visit:


UPT is planning two fundraisers to assist the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Sept. 16 will be “Jeans Day” — any faculty or staff member will be permitted to wear jeans to work in exchange for a contribution to the hurricane disaster relief fund. The campus will be selling “Jeans Day” buttons for $5.

In addition, UPT student ambassadors and the Student Activities Board plan to hold a fundraising car wash on Sept. 17.

UPT staff members Stephanie Thomas (814/827-4455) and Eva Dean (814/827-4496) are coordinating these events.

Titusville’s United Way will be matching local contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $5,000 from its discretionary funding.

—Peter Hart

Filed under: Feature,Volume 38 Issue 2

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