Children traumatized by Hurricane Katrina are receiving some cuddly comfort in the form of Hug-A-Bears donated by SBC Telecom Pioneers of Carson City.
The group sent more than 400 teddies to Texas to be distributed by a Texas Telecom Pioneers club.
"We sent 125 by UPS out of Yerington and the rest SBC sent through company mail to expedite them," said Lee Radtke, a member of the company's board of directors. "They should be there already, which is neat because you always hear about these things ending up in a warehouse somewhere and not getting to the people."
Hug-A-Bears are handmade bears that club members make and provide to emergency organizations for traumatized children.
"We make these throughout the year, and we give them to the fire departments, police departments and urgent-care centers, and they really make a big difference to little children," Radtke said. "The Texas Pioneers were contacted by emergency teams requesting bears for the victims being transferred to Texas."
Radtke said the group also wants to send a large amount of clothing collected for the Telecom Pioneers Lot Sale fund-raiser, scheduled for Sept. 17, but were asked to hold off until the Texas emergency workers were ready.
"It's nice that Carson City can help the children, even in a small way," said Radtke.
Washoe Medical Center is sending medical supplies and personnel to aid hurricane victims.
The hospital has donated a truckload of hospital supplies and equipment. Washoe Med emergency medicine physician Dr. Scott Shepard, nurse Aaron Guinnee and Washoe South Meadows nurse Angie Wallace are on the scene.
The three were deployed Friday as part of the Air National Guard's 152nd Medical Group.
Alan Rose, manager of emergency services at WMC, arranged for a truckload of linen, scrubs, suture, gloves, alcohol wipes, isolation gowns, syringes, goggles and other items to be sent with Shepard's team.
Red Cross update
As of Sunday, the Red Cross has taken more than $250,000 in donations, not including funds from the Rib Cook-off and the event that Citadel Communications conducted this weekend.
The Red Cross has set up more than 4,709 shelters as far west as Salt Lake City, serving more than 135,000 people and more than 2 million meals.
This weekend in Reno, more than 200 people attended a full-day training course required for people to volunteer. People continue to call the office wanting to help, so the Red Cross is organizing two volunteer orientations for 5 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday at a location to be announced. Another training session will be held next weekend. To register, call 856-1000.
Edward Jones help
Phillip Leathers of the Carson City Edward Jones investments office said his firm has donated $250,000 to the Red Cross.
In addition, Edward Jones will match its associates' donations to the Red Cross. The firm will also collect client donations toward the relief effort.
AAA matching funds
AAA of Northern California, Nevada and Utah will match employee and member donations up to a total $250,000 to the Red Cross.
AAA members who wish to have their contributions matched can take checks made out to the American Red Cross to any AAA office or donate via credit card at www.csaa.com.
n Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at firstname.lastname@example.org or 882-2111 ext. 351.