Volunteers helping rebuild homes damaged after Hurricane Sandy
By Timothy Awojobi
For some students, spring break is the opportunity to relax, catch up on sleep, hang out with friends, or go on vacation. For other students, their spring break was devoted to helping others.
Throughout this year’s Alternate Spring break program, students were divided into three projects on hand. The three projects included the demolition of a backyard that was destroyed through Hurricane Sandy, fencing on an empty land of a home that washed away during the hurricane, and a painting job of a house that has now been rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy.
Each student was broken up into groups according to their personal experience prior to the trip, although each student wasn’t obligated to have full experience in that set skill.
“I truly enjoyed this memorable experience, and I wouldn’t have spent my spring break anywhere else than being at Alternate Spring Break this year,” said Chris Resotko, junior accounting major at Kean University Ocean Campus.
The Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) provides services for the inner and outer community ranging from breast cancer walks to on-campus community events and is there to provide quality community service.
For the third annual year, CLS has been hosting the Alternate Spring Break program in Toms River, NJ. This program mainly enforces the need for community service for Kean college students. CLS has been focusing on giving back to communities that were strongly affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
Through this program, students are given the opportunity to display their personal skills, as well as learn new skills to apply to the specified project given.
“Besides the Alternate Spring break program, each month, we do a Habitat for Humanity, Adopt-A-Park, a food bank, Atria Senior Living, and blood drives,” said Abby Gallego, junior psychology/criminal Justice major at Kean University. “Depending on the month, we will try to work around the specific national holiday.”
Besides the community service aspect of the trip, students were given the opportunity to enjoy their Spring Break by going on various field trips and group activities. Students were still given free time after each work shift to bond with one another and create great friendships.
During the trip, some students, depending on their site location, were exposed to the horrific sights of damage that were caused by Hurricane Sandy.
“The foundation of a home was literally underneath the sand,” said Resotko. “It was a completely empty vacant lot with only cinder blocks and rubble left. The house that used to be there was completely swept into the ocean.”
The volunteers enjoyed helping build homes for spring break and hope to pass on the message of helping others.