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ASSE Donates $10K to Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts

Wed September 28, 2005 - National Edition
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The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has donated $10,000 to the Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina victims’ help and recovery efforts.

In making the donation, ASSE President Jack H. Dobson Jr., said, “In tragic times such as these, Americans have always found the strength to rally together to give support and aid where they can. For 94 years the American Society of Safety Engineers has and continues to be committed to protecting people, property, and the environment.

“In light of the recent disaster, our members have rallied around the country as individuals and chapters to donate time, goods and money to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. We applaud those efforts that will continue for weeks to come.”

Several ASSE chapters including the Bakersfield, CA, and the Northeastern Illinois chapters donated $5,000 each to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army for Katrina relief efforts while ASSE members from Oregon and Washington states gave $1,000 to the Portland Red Cross and $1,000 to the Northwest Medical Teams.

Members of Baton Rouge are volunteering on the front lines presently helping with their local churches and volunteering at local relief shelters.

ASSE Baton Rouge member Mike Parker noted, “The Florida Boulevard Baptist Church, with help from the Judson Baptist Association, is providing over 16 thousand meals a day to victims and housing to emergency power and tree crews.”

One Western Pennsylvania member, in working with friends, neighbors and work associates, gathered food and clothing for the Hurricane families that were relocated to Ft. Dawson, WV.

“So far so good, everyone has been more than generous with their giving. I know because my house is the drop off point and the trailer is sitting in my driveway,” said Carl Heinlein, ASSE member.

Many ASSE members companies and members are donating funds to the Red Cross, with their companies matching individual donations and providing volunteers in the recovery effort.

A former ASSE Chapter president from Orange County, CA, Chris Gaylord is serving as a safety officer for the California FEMA Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) and is currently assigned to Biloxi, MS. Gaylord noted that the superintendent of the Biloxi schools has been there around the clock, and school officials are using nearly all of the supplies purchased for the school year to house and help the evacuees.

Also, that the Navy commandant of the USS Iwo Jima arrived with a number of support staff and added 20 medical personnel while helping clean the “hospital.”

Gaylord noted that the team’s pharmaceutical supplies had not arrived, but people/volunteers from across the United States continued to randomly bring supplies of all varieties, including two truckloads that arrived from Maryland loaded with water and boxes of materials.

The two drivers had volunteered and were turning around as soon as the truck was unloaded, heading home, as they had to work the next day. He said the random, truly unorganized generosity had been amazing.

In Michigan, ASSE student members from Oakland University (OU) have coordinated a kettle drive through the Salvation Army with ASSE student members volunteering to collect donations for the victims each day. They also are encouraging members to post message boards for students and the community to write messages to the victims who need words of encouragement in conjunction with a fundraising Phone-A-Thon that was held Friday, Sept. 9.

ASSE OU Student Chapter President Carolyn C. Davis noted, “We all know the importance of the safety concerns that our fellow Americans will be facing during this very moment and for years to come. So I am rounding up troops who are willing to put aside themselves for a moment in time for a mission that will affect us forever.”

In Houston, ASSE Gulf Coast Chapter members are volunteering at the Astrodome, started a major donation drive at a local church and the local Boys & Girls Clubs and are helping their fellow employees displaced by the Hurricane with supplies, food and shelter.

An Indiana University ASSE student member is in Louisiana with the Red Cross where he has been working heading up a 1,200 person shelter with 53 staff. He noted that all the safety knowledge he has ever acquired through the Safety Management course at Indiana University (IU) Bloomington is coming into play.

In Kentucky, ASSE members are volunteering their occupational safety and health expertise and time at the local hospitals receiving disaster victim patients.

ASSE Hospitality Branch Administrator Lester Washington, and Regional Director of Marriott International’s Western Region is assisting with coordinating relief efforts for the beleaguered guests and associates that are housed in their local hotels affected by the Hurricane.

ASSE members are volunteering all across the United States to assist the victims and in looking ahead at the rebuilding efforts. Members are volunteering with the Institute of Building Technology & Safety as they look to rebuild in the devastated areas.