Oct. 18, 2018
From Friday, Oct. 12, through Monday, Oct. 15, a team from the Saint Vincent College Campus Ministry Department were volunteers on a Fall Break Service Trip to Highlands, New Jersey. The group included Mary Andreola, a freshman biology major from Pittsburgh (15236); Makenna Buffone, a sophomore environmental science major from Greensburg; Morgan Casto, a junior biology major from Johnstown; Allison Hartsek, a junior allied health major from Uniontown; Marisa Metropoulos, a freshman early childhood education major from Aliquippa; Yariana Pino Sanchez, a freshman biology major from Pittsburgh (15221); Jay Ryan-Sammons, a freshman with an undecided major from Arnold, Maryland; Jessica Smith, a freshman accounting major from Portage; Ian Tracey, a sophomore biology major from Pittsburgh (15238); Tamas Varga-Berta, an international student from Gyorujbarat, Hungary; Jaime Witham, a senior history major from Ebensburg; and Jody Marsh, Campus Ministry office and services coordinator.
The group members put their faith into action as they worked with SBP, one of the only two non-profit builders left in New Jersey rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Oct. 2012. As the sixth anniversary of this tragic occurrence approaches, there are still an abundance of people who are urgently in need of care and assistance.
On Oct. 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the northeast, leaving the region in devastation. In the past six years, there have been inadequate insurance payouts, and contractor fraud has left thousands of New Jersey families displaced or living in their homes damaged by the storm.
SBP’s New Jersey operation serves low- to moderate-income residents, with a special focus on families with small children, the elderly, people with disabilities, war veterans and the under- and uninsured. This foundation has identified homeowners in need of rebuilding services up and down the New Jersey shore. The residential rebuilding program serves local residents who own their homes but lack the financial means necessary to rebuild on their own.
SBP is using its proven-effective model to provide clear, prompt and efficient paths to recovery for homeowners who are still waiting to return home.
The Campus Ministry team stayed at Camp Evans Volunteer Housing in Wall Township, New Jersey, a recently renovated volunteer host site that is known as the home for a 1914 transatlantic radio receiver and various World War II/Cold War laboratories of the United States Army and the site of the InfoAge Science and Learning Center.
While in New Jersey, they worked on drywall, grading and exterior painting, enjoyed some delicious food and attended Mass at Church of the Precious Blood, Monmouth Beach, New Jersey.
Photo: The Saint Vincent College group (back row, from left): Jessica Smith, Ian Tracey, Tamas Varga-Berta, Yariana Pino Sanchez, Jaime Witham, Mary Francis Andreola, Jay Ryan-Sammons, Allison Hartsek, Morgan Casto, Marisa Metropoulos and Makenna Buffone, were joined by other volunteers in the front row.
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