When superstorm Sandy hit on Oct. 29, 2012, the Fordham University community mobilized quickly in coordinating a relief supply hub. Fordham’s involvement did not stop there.
In the last seven months, more than 400 students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and invitees have volunteered through grassroots organizations, and through a series of 11 Sandy Saturday trips sponsored through the University’s Office of Mission and Ministry. The trips were part of an effort by Fordham to help rebuild stricken communities not just through one volunteer day, but through a sustained relationship with Sandy survivors. Volunteers worked closely with Habitat for Humanity Westchester.
“We had such a great response, we literally had to turn students away,” said Sandra Lobo Jost, director of the Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice.
Volunteers across the University have totaled more than 3,200 hours of community service directed towards hurricane relief. Through collections at University liturgies, individual donations, and campus fundraisers, more than $30,000 was raised for the University’s Disaster Relief Fund to support those affected and organizations and agencies working to assist in the relief and recovery process.
Gil Severiano, a Campus Ministry administrator and a volunteer, said that, unlike other metropolitan-area universities, Fordham’s commitment to Sandy victims was an outgrowth of its Jesuit identity.
“We have been the only university to continue a sustained relationship.”