Our team is leaving for our trip to the Jersey Shore tomorrow morning in order to work with United Way to help clean up and rebuild from the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. On the eve of our departure, I have had a lot of time to reflect on what this trip truly means for me. Even though I have participated in similar service trips in the past, this trip is personal for me in a way that no other service experience has ever been.

I was born and raised on Long Island, one of the regions that was ravaged by the hurricane and is still trying to recover from it. The storm struck when I was here at Lafayette and prevented me from having the opportunity to get home and be with my family during this trying time. Though my family was fortunate enough to only lose power for a few days, other families were not as lucky. For some, the power didn’t come on until a month later. For others, the power never came back on, as their houses were completely destroyed by the storm. Sitting here at school that week was one of the most difficult times in my life because of all the uncertainty that I knew existed back at home. Were my friends and their families alright?

I’m going on this trip to do what I believe is my part in the rebuilding process. It is my hope that I can give of myself this week in a way that I was unable to last year. I want to contribute to this massive rebuilding process that has served to show just how much resolve the people of New York and New Jersey, in addition to all those affected, truly have. It has been a trying process for many of these people and offering our time can hopefully encourage them to continue along this path towards recovery.


1 Comment

  1. Olivia Erdman says:

    Its only mere minutes, our trip to New Jersey. I finally finished cramming all of my things into two single backpacks and hoping I didn’t under pack. I am about to walk down to leave and all of my excitement and nerves have finally taken over. I am not completely sure what to expect, how to feel, or what I will gain from this experience but I am eager to find out. I am excited for new friendships and new memories, as well as helping to rebuild an area that I am personally familiar with and connected to. I live in Northern New Jersey in an area that was affected by the storm and at the time I thought we were hot pretty hard. However, after learning about areas along the coast where families lost everything they had, I could not help feeling stupid for complaining about my little power outage. Now I am excited to finally be able to help the people that I saw on the news and experience the disaster first hand almost a year later.

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