The Star Ledger published a story featuring The College of New Jersey’s Here for Home Campaign’s relief efforts in Union and Ortley Beaches, along with other schools including Seton Hall and the New Jersey Institute of Technology. The story can be found below or at http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2013/01/nj_colleges_kick_off_spring_se.html#incart_river_default.
N.J. college students kick off spring semester with mission to help Sandy victims
SOUTH ORANGE — Along with their books and computers, Seton Hall University students toted bags of groceries to their first day of classes today.
Hundreds of students arrived on the South Orange campus with cans of vegetables, boxes of pasta and bottles of water to donate to the Community FoodBank of New Jersey as part of a Hurricane Sandy relief project.
By the end of the day, Seton Hall students had filled a truck with thousands of pounds of food to help replenish stock the Hillside-based food bank lost when its warehouse lost power during the October storm.
“We’re definitely getting more donations than we expected,” Sean Daudelin, a marketing student who helped organize the “Stuff the Truck” drive, said as he accepted bags from students. “They’re excited they are not the only ones helping out.”
Across the state, college students are starting the spring semester with a vow to continue helping the state recover from the hurricane. Campuses with an abundance of student volunteers are planning everything from weekend clean-up trips to the Shore to more ambitious rebuilding projects.
At the College of New Jersey, school officials plan to send buses of students weekly to Union Beach, Ortley Beach and other hard-hit communities to clear debris, deliver donations and make house repairs.
“We’ve had faculty, staff and students out almost every weekend since the storm,” said Patrick Donohue, assistant provost for community engaged learning programs and partnerships. “We try to go where there seems to be the most need.”
The Ewing-based college set up a “Here for Home” campaign shortly after the storm to raise money and coordinate relief projects. Students have been selling specially-designed “ReNew Jersey” t-shirts and donating money from their dining plan swipe cards to buy food and cleaning supplies for storm victims.This week, College of New Jersey students are planning to spend two days working in hard-hit Union Beach to help gut houses and install drywall. Finding volunteers has not been difficult, school officials said. “They are really enthusiastic to help,” Donohue said. “This has hit them on a number of levels.”
As other charities and disaster relief projects begin to leave the state, some New Jersey colleges are planning a long-term commitment to hurricane recovery projects.
At New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, students and professors are planning to offer the school’s expertise in architecture, urban planning and environmental engineering to help communities think about storm-resistance as they rebuild. Other schools are working hurricane relief projects into courses and scholarly research projects.
At Seton Hall today, students were planning to make a video about their project to inspire other New Jersey colleges to set up their own programs to help restock the shelves at the Community FoodBank, which lost 100,000 lbs of food during the power outages caused by Sandy.
“We want to start rebuilding what they lost,” said Daudelin, 21, of Jackson.