St. Vladimir's Community Assists with Sandy Recovery Effort
10 November 2012 • Off–Campus • Virginia Nieuwsma
On Saturday, November 10, a group of students, staff and spouses from St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) responded to a call from the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) for volunteers, in order to bring relief to those affected by Hurricane Sandy on Staten Island, one of the areas hardest hit by the storm. In a sign of the physical labor which awaited them, volunteers were asked to bring rubber boots, gloves, shovels, and masks to the job site, along with the virtues of patience and compassion.
Early in the morning, a group from St. Vladimir's set out in order to meet at 9 a.m. at the sponsoring parish, Holy Trinity/St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Staten Island. All the gathered volunteers then spread out for the busy day, where they engaged in a variety of clean up tasks which included sorting donations in the parish hall, creating care packages of food and/or clothing, delivering food and clothes to homes, collection centers and recovery centers, and cleaning up outside and inside homes.
The St. Vladimir's delegation was despatched to a local neighborhood, where they donned their protective masks and went to work, spending the subsequent hours ripping out drywall and insulation, breaking down walls, and hauling away trash.
For those who couldn't come, SVOTS students set up a collection center in the Lakeside Apartments to gather needed items for distribution. During the preceding week, people in the community stopped by to donate diapers, wipes, baby toys, dry goods and canned foods in a green container designated for the purpose. Others also organized a babysitting to enable parents to freely participate in the work day.