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Living and Building in Solidarity

Mount students spend their Spring Break helping victims of Hurricane Sandy

Mackenzie Sullivan, C’13, is from New Jersey and can’t imagine not assisting those who were displaced and lost everything because of Hurricane Sandy. 

Mackenzie and 33 other Mount students are using spring break as an opportunity to break-away into service. The Mount’s Office of Social Justice is partnering with Habitat for Humanity for spring break trips to the Eastern Shore of Virginia and Jacksonville, Florida, and Coastal Habitat for Humanity to Spring Lake Heights, New Jersey.

“There were a lot of discussions going on about how to contribute to relief efforts,” Sullivan, a CORE leader in the Office of Social Justice, explains. “This trip is one way we are assisting those in need,” said Sullivan, who will be leading the trip with Darcy O'Hara, C'15, and Brian Houdek, C'14. “I’m excited to meet new people and hear their stories; I’m also looking forward to becoming better friends with the other Mount students going on the trip.”

After Hurricane Sandy hit portions of the northeastern United States last October, and resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people, the Mount community responded — partnering with local shelters to collect much needed supplies including toiletries, medical equipment, and food.  

The results were overwhelming.

“When natural disasters occur, I’m always amazed at the response of the entire Mount community – faculty, staff, students, and our alumni network,” said Jeff Abel, director of the Office of Social Justice. “Our campus was fortunate to experience only a short time without power and only a small hindrance to class schedules, but we know others were affected to a much greater degree.”

Many Mount students come from the northeastern United States and have family and friends who suffered because of the storm. The spring break trip to New Jersey will enable students to help others rebuild their permanent residence homes, and to live simply for the week to promote solidarity.

“As time passes, it is easy to forget that many in New York and New Jersey have lost their homes and still need help,” said Bob Brennan, C'85, vice president for advancement, who grew up on the Jersey Shore. “While this is a massive cleanup effort, every minute volunteered, every home repaired, every neighborhood cleaned and every person served provides what the victims need more than anything else — hope!”

For more information about service opportunities, contact the Office of Social Justice.

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