Campus Ministry students lead trip for Sandy relief

Sabrina Fahy, Crier Staff

Due to the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy, Campus Ministry organized service trips to New Jersey to help those affected by the storm.

In the United States, Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine. Early on October 29, the storm hit New Jersey as a post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds.

Residents in Cape May County and Ocean County, both on the coast, were advised to evacuate. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie ordered all residents of Logan Township and on barrier islands to evacuate. On October 29, Sandy made landfall near Atlantic City, causing almost all schools, colleges, and universities to be closed.

Campus Ministry sent one group out November 16-18 and is sending another group out December 7-9. The first weekend there were two Hurricane Sandy Clean-up Crews with a total of 17 students. The next service trip will have two crews with a total of 19 students (the Knights of Columbus are sending 11 students in one crew for this weekend).

Volunteers spent their time in New Jersey cleaning up the destruction caused by the storm. Students were able to interact with Hurricane Sandy victims and helped them in any way possible.

Those that volunteered found the trip to be very poignant.

“Going down to New Jersey was an amazing experience,” said freshman Amy Clancy. “We went into one of the hardest hit communities and despite that, the neighborhood was so selfless towards each other and even us. I am happy that we were able to help in whatever way we could, and I am so thankful I had the opportunity to go.”

The first group volunteered with New Jersey Cares, an organization that plans volunteer opportunities. Volunteers on the next trip will work with Gerristen Beach Cares and Staten Island Recovers.

The trips have been led by Service and Solidarity Leaders. The first weekend, Christopher Murphy and Ashley Giddinge led one crew, and Sarah Haigh and Justin Eckilson led the second crew. On the next trip, Anthony Murphy and Veronica Amaya will lead one crew, and Shaun O’Halloran and Alex Morella will lead the Knights’ Crew.

Campus Ministry is also providing relief to Hurricane Sandy victims through donations.

“We have collected monetary donations for Catholic Charities and material donations of goods – clothing – food,” says Susan Gabert, Director of Campus Ministry. “The material donations will be brought this weekend by Sara Duane, Audrey Quigley, and Leanne D’Entremont.”