Relief successful, official says

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    TCU students, staff and faculty raised more than $10,500 for the American Red Cross, collected more than 1,000 pounds of food and filled two rooms full of clothing to aid in Hurricane Katrina relief, according to a University Ministries record.Red Cross donation cans were located in the Brown-Lupton Student Center, department offices and the TCU Bookstore. Resident assistants also had collection jars.

    “I think we did really well,” said the Rev. Angela Kaufman, minister to the university.

    Mark Jones, of the Chisholm Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross in Fort Worth, said he was extremely excited when he found out TCU was collecting money for the Hurricane Disaster Fund.

    “Preventing, preparing for and responding to disasters is an ongoing challenge, and we cannot do it without contributions both nationally and locally,” said Jones, chairman of the financial development committee.

    In 2004, Kaufman said, a similar fundraiser was held through University Ministries for tsunami relief. Monetary donations were sent to the American Red Cross, she said.

    Different student organizations and religious groups volunteered to collect money outside The Main.

    John Athon, president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, said he decided to help with the fundraiser because his friend’s house was destroyed, and his father’s business was heavily damaged.

    “It wasn’t very difficult to get the Greek community involved,” said Athon, a senior political science major. “Enough people wanted to do something, that it was just a matter of finding the outlet.”

    Volunteers also collected money at the gates during the TCU game against Utah on Sept. 15.

    Kaufman said donors included countless students, faculty, staff, alumni and children from the Starpoint School.

    “It was really touching to see the group of students come to TCU to donate the money,” Kaufman said. “And it was even more touching because they were children caring about the people affected by the hurricane.”

    Athon volunteered for three days and said he was impressed with the donations.

    “Everyone from students to the chancellor, Greeks and non-Greeks donated,” Athon said. “People donated what they had, be it 50 cents or $100.”

    The highest personal donation was about $200, said Cindy Rodriguez, University Ministries’ administrative coordinator.

    Monetary donations will be sent sometime this week to the Chisholm Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross.

    The money will be used to provide food, clothing, shelter and medicine to local evacuees, Jones said.

    The fundraiser was not limited to cash donations, though. University Ministries also encouraged students to donate seasonal, clean clothing for the Salvation Army.

    More than 1,000 pounds of nonperishable food items, toiletries and baby supplies were also collected, according to a receipt from the Tarrant County Food Bank and University Ministries.

    “I want to personally thank the university for their support during our nation’s greatest humanitarian crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” Jones said.