University of Missouri-Rolla faculty, staff and students have joined Rolla community members to form the Rolla Community Tsunami Relief Fund to raise funds for assistance to victims of the earthquake and tsunami in southeast Asia. To date the groups have raised more than $5,000.
In the days immediately following the disaster, members of the UMR International Students Club began the first phase of the fund-raising effort out of concern for families of UMR students living in affected areas, says Marta Matana, a graduate student in civil engineering at UMR. The students posted collection boxes across campus. Soon, other university groups and the community joined the effort.
"As word of this disaster spread, the Rolla community sprang into action immediately in an effort to help the people of the region to rebuild their lives and their economies," says UMR Chancellor Gary Thomas. "Already significant amounts of money have been raised, but much more is needed now and over the next several months."
Collection boxes are located at several sites across campus, including UMR’s Curtis Laws Wilson Library, UMR Havener Center information desk, and the international affairs office, located in Room 103 Norwood Hall.
Collection boxes are also located at Rolla City Hall, 708 N. Main St., and at Brewer Science, 2401 Brewer Drive in Rolla. The Brewer Science drive is coordinated by Dr. Jyoti Malhotra, who received a Ph.D. in chemistry from UMR in 2002.
Donations can be made to one of the following organizations: U.S. Fund for UNICEF Tsunami Relief, Indonesia Disaster Relief Fund, Sri Lanka Association (Midwest) Tsunami Relief Fund, and the Association for India’s Development (AID) Tsunami Survivors Relief Campaign.
"UMR has a big population of international students and the largest percentage is from India," says Roumen Chamov, a senior in electrical engineering at UMR."We all have friends who were affected."
More information about the Rolla Community Tsunami Relief Fund, including a message from Thomas, is available online at www.mst.edu/index.php?id=2437 .
The fund-raising campaign is endorsed by the UMR International Students Club, the UMR international affairs office, the UMR Council of Graduate Students, UMR India Association, UMR Indian Faculty Group, Brewer Science Inc., and the City of Rolla.
Donations can also be mailed to one of the following contacts. For more information, contact Dr. Ashok Midha, chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering at UMR, 210 ME Building, at (573) 341-4298; UMR student Roumen Chamov, UMR International Students Club, 218 Havener Center, at (636) 219-5761; Jeanie Hofer, UMR international affairs office, 103 Norwood Hall, at (573) 341-4208; or Malhotra at Brewer Science, (573) 364-0300, extension 1437.