HAYS, KS -- Despite the 60 miles between Hays and Hoisington, students, faculty and staff at Fort Hays State University are working hard to help fellow Kansans who were affected by the tornado last Saturday evening.
FHSU's Campus Intramurals and Recreation staff and the wilderness skills class packed up in two vans to head to Hoisington to assist in clean-up efforts. The group is staying in tents and preparing their own meals while they stay in the park in the 500 block of West First Street.
The group will be in Hoisington through Friday afternoon to lend a hand in any areas in which their assistance is needed.
Forsyth Library has also joined in. The library has arranged a "Food-for-Fines" drive. For each non-perishable food item taken in, patrons can receive $1 off any currently owed fines. The exchange does not include lost item costs.
With the help of Hoisington senior Janet Reitcheck, the library has been designated as a drop-off location for any donations that campus and community persons would like to contribute to the efforts.
Additionally, the University Leader has set up a site in Picken Hall to drop off donations. The Leader staff is requesting items such as toiletries, cleaning supplies, work gloves and non-perishable food items. Items can be taken to the Leader office in Picken Hall 104 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. until Friday, May 4.
For those who would like to contribute more than just tangible items, the American Red Cross is accepting mental health, health services and family services volunteers. Those with some level of expertise, including state licensure, a degree in related areas or volunteer experience, can contact Barb Boddiger at the Hoisington VFW by calling (785) 826-3172 or by reporting directly to the Hoisington VFW.
Volunteers can work in one of three areas including service center, emergency aid station or integrative team. The service center is working with mental health, health services and family services to assist residents who are able to travel to the center.
The emergency aid station is a truck called an "ERB" which includes nurses, family services workers and mental health counselors who provide care in conjunction with delivering food, water, work gear and other essentials to residents. The integrative team is a group sent on special assignments to homes and or other locations of residents in need of care.