By Chelsea Brumagen ’13 and Ken Jubie
When Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, more than 80 Siena students, along with communities in New York and New Jersey, were among the people impacted by the devastating storm. In true Franciscan spirit, Siena has been rallying to help people in need.
Katie Marino ’13 is among the leaders of the relief effort. Marino said, “When the storm hit we didn’t ask, ‘Are we going to do anything?’ We asked, ‘What are we going to do?’”
Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy Associate Director Judy Dougherty ’06 said Marino and other volunteers helped to raise approximately $1,500. They collected the money at a men’s basketball game as well as in the residence and dining halls. Dougherty said all of the money was donated to the American Red Cross.
Marino also worked with other groups on campus to make the relief effort a community project. She partnered with residential life to set up a goods collection. Everything they collected went to Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens.
Lending a hand in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has been a humbling experience for Marino. “Working at the Franciscan Center, you realize every single day that there are other people out there who are less fortunate than you,” Marino said. “Whatever problems you have, they have bigger problems, and I feel like going to Siena and learning about the Franciscan tradition really grounds you and makes you realize how lucky you really are.”
Along with cash donations and the goods drive, Siena students donated more than $1,400 dollars in meal plan bonus dollars. That money was used to purchase laundry detergent, trash bags, cleaning supplies and other materials that will help Franciscan communities in Seaside Heights and Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The goods were stuffed into the Siena College bus and delivered at the beginning of the spring semester.