NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - On Saturday, October 28, 2017, nearly five years to the day since Hurricane Sandy devastated residents in the Rockaway and Breezy Point section of Queens, Iona College students participated in the St. Bernard Project “Friends of -Rockaway”. Led by campus minister Justin Pelligrino '19, resident assistant Justin Henry ’19 and his freshman residents once again assisted with program. Despite the five years since Hurricane Sandy’s impact, there are still families that are just getting the aid they need.
Henry’s freshman residents: Nicholas Leonardo '21, John Morris '21, and Danielle Zalamea '21, worked directly with the men and women of St. Bernard's to help rebuild a family's home. They group described it as a very humbling experience and they were very grateful for the opportunity. Leonardo and Zalamea both felt the kind-hearted staff of St. Bernard's was a great community to work with. In addition, Morris recommended participation in the service project to anyone who wishes to make a difference. He also reiterated the on-going need for continued assistance in picking up the pieces for those whose lives have been affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
The St. Bernard Project not only helps Hurricane Sandy recovery, but recovery of several disaster-impacted communities in the area. Its main roles are home repair and clean up, both of which Iona College students got to take part in.
"In times like these, it is extremely important for us to realize there are so many things we can do to help people going through similar struggles," Justin Henry said when reflecting on his service. "Whether it be a small donation or helping to clean up the lawn of a damaged property, every bit of help makes a major difference."