Austin, Texas -- Want to help veterinarians in hurricane-ravaged Texas? Open your pocketbook or checkbook. It's money that can do the most good toward meeting DVMs' most critical needs right now, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association says.
-- Want to help veterinarians in hurricane-ravaged Texas? Open your pocketbook or checkbook. It's money that can do the most good toward meeting DVMs' most critical needs right now, the Texas Veterinary Medical Association says.
"It's cash that's needed, to buy generators and fuel to run them. We're trying to raise as much cash as we can right now," Elbert Hutchins, the TVMA's executive director, tells DVM Newsmagazine.
"Many vets in the hardest-hit areas around Galveston, Houston and Beaumont have called us to say they have water wells, but no electricity to draw the water. The generators would help them get water they need to work, keep some lights on and provide some refrigeration and air-conditioning. With the power still out in so many places, we really need generators, and they're getting to be in short supply," Hutchins says.
The TVMA purchased and distributed 10 of the 5.5-kilowatt generators to DVMs in the Beaumont area, east of Houston, one of the regions hardest-hit by the Hurricane Ike's storm surge, winds and rains. Widespread power outages, making it impossible to pump fuel, and standing floodwater continue as major problems days after the storm swept through, and likely will be for some time to come.
"We could get 10 more generators tomorrow, but our organization doesn't have the budget for it. We're doing it anyway," Hutchins says.
The generators cost about $1,000 per installation - $800 for the unit, plus some fuel and extension cords. Some veterinary supplies also are needed. The TVMA is distributing the generators on a need basis, and there's plenty of need, Hutchins says. "We've got a waiting list now, and the staff is calling some vets they know who likely need help."
How to donate?Call the TVMA at (512) 452-4224, where a staff of eight to 10 persons are handling calls. "On our Web site, www.tvma.org, there's a PDF form you can download, print and mail with donations," Hutchins says. "We're not set up to accept donations directly via the Web, but people can fax credit-card information or mail a check." Donations are handled through the Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation, the agency's charitable arm headed by April Klinger; Hutchins is TVMF executive secretary.
The TVMA also is putting together a list of potential DVM volunteers. To join that list, call the same number, or e-mail Hutchins directly at email@example.com.