Step.- Texas Tech University Health Science Center (TTUHSC) students and the border community came together over the past six weeks to support the mission of the Opportunity Center for the Homeless and the El Paso Rescue Mission with a clothing, toiletries and toy drive that raised hundreds of donations Items that fill an entire room. Giving back is at the heart of TTUHSC El Paso’s mission to improve the health and well-being of Binational area residents.
Donation collections began on campus in late November and continued through the first few weeks of December, including Cookies, Cocoa and Holiday Cheer, TTUHSC El Paso’s annual holiday event. Donations were distributed to both organizations on Wednesday, December 14, by the Institutional Promotion Office. Staff also visited the Homeless Opportunity Center and distributed supplies to migrant families who arrived.
“These donations are a huge morale booster for our residents,” said John Martin, deputy director of the Homeless Opportunity Center. “Families can experience the joy of the season, and it brings some normality back into their lives.”
Donations to the El Paso Homeless Opportunity Center and Rescue Mission follow a new strong relationship with the Hunt School of Dental Medicine, which began earlier this fall. Both organizations use the Texas Tech Dental Oral Health Clinic Dental Patient Fund, which helps underinsured and uninsured patients with the cost of dental services. The fund was established by a grant from Marathon Petroleum which includes services for those living in the 79901 and 79905 zip codes. These are neighborhoods in which TTUHSC El Paso and Marathon Petroleum share a home and close community ties.
Preventive care for residents addresses oral health early, allowing treatment before conditions worsen and become more costly. Investments by Community Partners in the Dental Patient Fund provide access to care for underserved communities that would otherwise lack the resources for quality dental care.
“Creating greater access to healthcare is essential to partnering with local organizations that serve families in need,” said TTUHSC El Paso Vice President for Institutional Advancement Andrea Toney, PhD. “When you give a toy to a child who has only the clothes on his back, seeing his happiness makes all our work worthwhile.”
Both organizations are still in need of donations of clothing, toiletries and toys, with women’s pants most in need.
The Homeless Opportunities Center exists to help all homeless people overcome their situation if they are able; Or protect them if they cannot improve their status in society due to emotional or psychological disorders.