By Morgan Cummings
November 29, 2012
On the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, Lock Haven University students gave thanks in their own way. Nineteen students from the LHU Outreach for Humanity Club advised through the LHU MountainServe Center for Global Citizenship traveled to Point Pleasant Beach, NJ to assist with Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief efforts.
Seton DiCorcia, an LHU student and Point Pleasant resident spoke of the destruction left in the wake of super storm Sandy: “The little bungalows that sat a block away from the beach are now unlivable. When you walk into some of these houses you see the water line where the ocean came through. Between the ocean and the three lakes in town, many homes were destroyed due to the water damage. People lost everything. It is four weeks after the storm and part of the town is still without power because it is unsafe for it to be turned back on. “
Volunteers in Point Pleasant are currently being organized through the Durand Masonic Lodge. Community members, including the DiCorcia family, have been coordinating residents that need help cleaning out their homes with any volunteers that are interesting in lending a hand. The Lodge has had over 800 volunteers, 19 of which were LHU students, come through and clean up over 300 homes.
The LHU students completed over 300 hours of community service as a group that weekend. Tyreek Renwrick, an LHU student Americorps member who attended the trip said, “We assisted multiple families by shoveling sand, cleaning out basements and garages, and removing damaged furniture from houses. One group demolished a deck that been detached from the house, and another group cleared walkways. The trip to New Jersey was a very humbling experience and showed me how grateful people can be for just a little bit of help.”
The LHU MountainServe Center for Global Citizenship also coordinated a toiletry and school supply drive on campus. Morgan Cummings, a student worker in MountainServe and coordinator of the trip and supply drive, said, “With the help of the University, the Lock Haven community, and First Quality, we were able to collect over $2,700 worth of toiletry items and school supplies. All of these items were brought down to Point Pleasant and distributed to the 22 shelters throughout Ocean County as well as schools in the area. The generosity of everyone from this community was overwhelming- people I didn’t know that had been given my name were approaching me to find out how they could help. So many giving individuals came out of the woodwork and really stepped up to help others in need. I’m so thankful to be part of such a group of kindhearted people.”
Assistant Professor Rebecca L. Stewart, Ph.D from the health and physical education department had a personal connection to some of the Long Island NY communities. She worked with LHU students, staff, and faculty to bring needed items for Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts with two trips to the area with clothing , blankets, toiletry and food items.
Both groups reported that the specific needs were met in their relief efforts, and ongoing support for Hurricane Sandy Relief can be found by contacting agencies, such as:
American Red Cross http://www.redcross.org/donation
New York City Cares http://www.newyorkcares.org/
Jersey Cares http://www.jerseycares.org/
Morgan Cummings is a Team Leader for MountainServe Center for Global Citizenship and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.