Khadija Greenidge Staff Writer
While some students soaked up the sun during their spring break vacations, members of various student clubs on campus dedicated their week to helping communities damaged by Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent Nor’easter.
Students in the Pre-Law Club, International Students Union (ISU), Korean Student Association, The Runway, and the Office of Religious Life joined Circle-K and their advisor, Jeanette Murray,
for the community service week, known as “Give Where You Live.”
“I was impressed with stu- dents who would sacrifice their time to help others. It was honestly heart-warming to know so many would volunteer during Spring break,” said Murray.
This is the first weeklong community service event hosted during a vacation period in New York by Circle-K.
The reason for the event, according to Murray, was that, “For the past four years, we would travel to Louisiana and tend to those affected by Katrina, but we felt it was necessary to help our own community.”
The student volunteers wore green T-shirts with the words Give Where You Live in yellow, designed by Business Administration Graduate student, Jesus Cardenas.
Every day of the vacation week, the twenty-five student vol- unteers met in the chapel at 9 a.m. to make sandwiches and leave for the service areas. On Monday and Wednesday the group travelled to Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, to participate in the Occupy Sandy efforts.
Occupy Sandy is an organized relief effort created to assist the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The locations vary from New Jersey, Coney Island, Greenpoint, the Rockaways, and Staten Island.
On Tuesday, the group visited the Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN) soup kitchen in Hempstead to help serve and prepare food for the homeless. They also organized pantries and worked in the donation centres.
On Thursday, the group assisted Sandy Help LB (Long Beach), a non-profit organization formed by Bryan Murphy, a resi- dent of Long Beach, who opened his home as an office for the organization. There they helped put up dry wall in the basement apartment of a young couple. “The couple just had a newborn and needed the renovations; we were glad to help” said Murray. International Students Union member and freshman Public Relations major, Stephanie Trieu, who attended the Thursday service day said, “Serving the community was both an enriching as well as interactive experience. I learned about how Hurricane Sandy affected various people differently and met a num- ber of individuals who were helpful and great to talk to. The organization, ISU, participated that day and members, including myself, felt accomplished to spend a day during spring break to give back to the community.”
The volunteer work did not end there. At 9 a.m. on Friday, the group cleaned up beaches in Long Beach. They collected garbage from the water and on the beaches, and separated recyclables from the trash.
On Saturday, the group travelled to Thomas Edison High School in Queens where The Run- way revisited the Stop Bullying Campaign that they presented at Post last month. This event steered away from the Sandy services to reach out to high school students in the community. They informed students of the many dangers of bullying and how it affects those who are victims.
“I believe Give Where You Live was very successful! There were a good number of students who participated and were glad to spend a day (or more) doing something cause-worthy. It was also an efficient, easy way for Post students to actively engage in com- munity service without the hassle of submitting a request and so on. I highly recommend that this is done again!” said Trieu.
Volunteers who signed up for three days got invited to a bowl- ing party to relax after the week of strenuous activity. All participants will also be attending a recogni- tion dinner for their efforts and for representing LIU Post with dignity and pride. The dinner is hosted by the Office of Religious Life, sponsored by Circle-K and SGA and will be held on Monday April 8.
Although the Give Where You Live spring break initiative is over, clubs, organizations and individuals can still get involved. For more information on other community service activities students may want to get involved in, sign up in the Interfaith Chapel or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.