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University of Iowa News Release

March 14, 2005

UI Community Donates $12,134 In Tsunami Relief Aid Through Deductions

More than 200 University of Iowa faculty and staff donated $12,134 for tsunami relief efforts in Indonesia, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa through voluntary payroll deductions last month.

From Feb. 1 through Feb. 20, the UI's Office of Human Resources posted an option on its self-service Web site where faculty and staff could designate a one-time deduction from their payroll checks for tsunami relief efforts. The deductions could be earmarked for one of three charitable organizations: the United Nations Association, the Red Cross/Red Crescent or United Way International.

By the end of the period, 222 individuals had made donations, which ranged from $5 to $1,000.

Katy Hansen, executive director of the Iowa United Nations Association, said the outpouring of support reflects the generosity of the UI community.

"We can all be proud of the work it will help accomplish in the field," Hansen said. "There is so much to do over the coming months and years. We must continue to support the work to help those suffering the unimaginable damage of the tsunami disaster."

UI Director of International Programs Diana Davies, one of the people who helped arrange the payroll deduction through Human Resources, said she was pleased to see so many people contribute to tsunami relief.

"It is a wonderful reflection of the active involvement of this community in humanitarian efforts around the world," Davies said. "Now, the goal will be to avoid falling back into a state of complacency and just assuming that everything is OK in those countries that were devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. It will be a very long process toward recovery."

Others who helped with the campaign were Christine Scheetz and Tom Walljasper with the Office of Community and Patient Relations at UI Hospitals and Clinics. They worked with United Way of Johnson County representatives to establish United Way International as one of the relief options to support locally.

"We are very pleased with the generosity shown," Walljasper said. "In addition to the online contributions, we also had a number of people who made over $2,000 in contributions by cash, check or credit card. Our faculty and staff have really responded graciously to this call for help."

The world's most powerful earthquake in more than 40 years struck deep under the Indian Ocean on Dec. 26, triggering massive tsunamis that obliterated cities, seaside communities and holiday resorts, killing tens of thousands of people in a dozen countries. The affected countries continue to struggle, rebuilding the infrastructure and coping with the ongoing threat of disease in the tsunamis' aftermath.

UI employees and students, as well as others, can still make donations. More information about relief organizations and tsunami-related news and activities at the UI is available at the university's Tsunami Aid website at http://news.uiowa.edu/tsunami/index.html

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.