Nov 13 2012
Pictured (left to right): Kayla Harley (guest), Carine Harley (B.S. '12), an alumna of NYIT's Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and a member of Chi Alpha Epsilon, Diane Moya, Daniel Dixson (guest), Benjamen Chen, Rafael Martinez, Jaishel Linch Bennett (HEOP student), and Vanderie Vielie (HEOP counselor).
On Nov. 10, nine NYIT students, two guests, and two staff members met in Sunset Park Brooklyn at St. Jacobi Lutheran Church, one of several Occupy Sandy relief hubs located throughout New York City. Students and staff registered with the volunteer group and participated in a brief orientation program. Several students opted to stay at the church to help with Occupy Sandy efforts by sorting and organizing much-needed goods to be sent to affected families. Students not pictured who volunteered at the church included Marty Magaan, Neekita Nath, Upendra Naido, and Xiao Lu. Liliya Bakibayava, program coordinator for the Community Service Center at NYIT-Manhattan, accompanied students to the church. Stephen Christianson, coach of the women's softball team, drove the NYIT van transporting students to/from campus and between the volunteer sites.
The rest of the group loaded an NYIT van with boxes of supplies such as blankets and baby items for delivery and headed to Far Rockaway, where they arrived two hours later to find military helicopters, trucks and tankers in the area. Upon entering Rockaway Beach, the group drove past what appeared to be a landfill but later learned it was a beach parking lot being used as a temporary dumping site for storm wreckage. The volunteers met with a man from the community who served as their guide and showed them where to distribute meals to people in need. While there was no electricity, traffic lights, working toilets or heat, there was plenty of unity in the Rockaways—an inspiration to the students and staff members who were deeply impacted by what they saw. They returned home with a renewed appreciation for simple comforts and a strengthened commitment to Sandy relief efforts.