Oct. 29 marks one year since Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast, causing more than 100 deaths and as much as $65 billion in damages. In New York alone, hundreds were displaced as flooding, severe winds, and, in some cases, fire destroyed entire neighborhoods.
Fordham University is marking the anniversary of Hurricane Sandy with a service trip to help local individuals and families who continue to struggle, and to raise awareness about the continued physical, financial, and spiritual needs of these communities.
On Saturday, Nov. 2, the Fordham University Sandy Solidarity Committee will sponsor its final “Sandy Saturday” to work with affected communities. Volunteers will travel from campus to the Far Rockaways to join Habitat for Humanity in helping clear debris, gut devastated homes, and assist in the ongoing rebuilding efforts.
According to Gil Severiano, assistant to the vice president of campus ministry, the hope was that, by sponsoring a trip near the anniversary of the storm, Fordham could turn a spotlight on the devastation that hurricane victims continue to grapple with.
“There is still a lot of work to be done,” Severiano said. “There are whole lots that are still empty, and people who are have only just begun returning to their homes.”
Since the storm hit, the University has run more than a dozen trips to the Rockaways, Breezy Point, and other affected areas. More than 400 students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends have participated in these official Sandy Saturdays, although Severiano said the unofficial number is much higher.
“The Fordham response was immediate and sustained,” she said. “In addition to our trips, people were going out in solo groups. The Lincoln Center students, for example, did a phenomenal job of organizing themselves to collect donations and run trips.”
The University will also hold a prayer service Oct. 29 at 6 p.m. on the Gabelli Plaza, outside Hughes Hall. A reception and reflection will be held in the McGinley Ballroom directly following the service.
In addition, the collection at this Sunday’s Mass was dedicated to the hurricane victims.
“Campus Ministry is happy to continue accepting donations on behalf of Catholic Charities, Habitat for Humanity, and others working in these areas. People can also donate directly to these organizations,” Severiano said.
“We live here, these are our neighbors. We need to support our local community.”
To register for Saturday’s trip, click here and fill out the registration form.
For information about either the trip or the prayer service, contact campus ministry at (718) 817-4500.
To read about earlier Sandy Saturday efforts, read the article on Fordham’s news blog.