Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s basketball suffers disappointing loss to St. Bonaventure at Mullins Center Thursday -

January 19, 2017

REPORT: Tom Masella out as defensive coordinator for UMass football -

January 19, 2017

Zach Lewis, bench carry UMass men’s basketball in win over St. Joe’s -

January 19, 2017

UMass women’s basketball handles Duquesne at home -

January 16, 2017

UMass men’s basketball’s late comeback falls short after blowing 15-point first-half lead -

January 15, 2017

UMass hockey outlasted at home against No. 6 UMass Lowell -

January 14, 2017

Hailey Leidel hits second buzzer beater of the season to give UMass women’s basketball win over Davidson -

January 13, 2017

UMass football hosts Maine at Fenway Park in 2017 -

January 12, 2017

UMass men’s basketball snaps losing streak and upsets Dayton Wednesday night at Mullins Center -

January 11, 2017

UMass women’s track and field takes second at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2017

UMass hockey falls to No. 5 Boston University at Frozen Fenway -

January 8, 2017

UMass professor to make third appearance on ‘Jeopardy!’ -

January 8, 2017

UMass women’s basketball suffers brutal loss on road against Saint Joseph’s -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops thirds straight, falls to VCU 81-64 -

January 7, 2017

UMass men’s basketball drops tightly-contested conference matchup against George Mason Wednesday night -

January 4, 2017

Late-game defense preserves UMass women’s basketball’s win against rival Rhode Island -

January 4, 2017

AIC shuts out UMass hockey 3-0 at Mullins Center -

January 4, 2017

UMass professor to appear as contestant on ‘Jeopardy!’ Thursday night -

January 4, 2017

Penalties plague UMass hockey in Mariucci Classic championship game -

January 2, 2017

UMass men’s basketball falls in A-10 opener to St. Bonaventure and its veteran backcourt -

December 30, 2016

UMass Hillel volunteers aid N.Y. Hurricane Sandy relief efforts

Courtesy of Dori Robinson

Three months after Hurricane Sandy devastated regions of the Caribbean, mid-Atlantic and parts of the Northeast, relief efforts are still ongoing. Last Sunday, volunteers from the University of Massachusetts aided in these efforts first hand.

“There’s more (effort needed) than you realize,” said Dori Robinson, assistant director for programming at Hillel House. “You could just see the people and just see the need and it was so tangible. It was something we had to step up and do.”

Freshman Dasha Zhadanovsky, who is currently a community service intern at the Hillel House, volunteered last Sunday.

“People got hit so hard. People are still suffering,” Zhadanovsky said.

Setting out in a rented van from Amherst at 6 a.m., seven students and two UMass alumni traveled to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, N.Y., to work on clearing out the basement of seafront property that had been filled up to the ceiling with sand deposited from storm flooding.

Robinson said there was “no entry into this place whatsoever” before the UMass volunteers got to digging out the basement alongside the homeowner.

“He lost everything, 100 percent everything,” Robinson said of John, whose last name she didn’t know, the homeowner who formerly ran his bicycle repair business from his house.

“His whole life was destroyed because of Hurricane Sandy,” Zhadanovsky said.

Robinson said volunteers worked for five hours clearing “really wet, dense sand covering tons of materials and things.”

“It was really intense,” she said, adding that volunteers wore masks as well as protective mesh suits covering their bodies from head to toe because “so many things had gotten combined,” including dead animals and household chemicals.

By the end of the day, however, the basement was completely cleared of sand and debris.

“I was so tired by the end of it. It was one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” Zhadanovsky said. “Just knowing we made that big of a difference in someone’s life … it was really incredible to give back.”

It was “really wonderful to be able to literally see the work we had done and the difference we had made,” Robinson said of clearing the sand.

The volunteers brought their own food and water resources for the day-long trip, as such resources are still hard to come by in severely affected regions, Robinson said.

The trip was funded entirely by the Hillel House. Robinson said their annual “Ride to Provide” event covers community service projects throughout the year.

Robinson said that the Hillel House plans on continuing different community service efforts every Sunday in March. For more information on these opportunities, visit umass.hillel.org.

Current Hillel volunteers, Robinson said, act off the Hebrew phrase “Tikkum Olam,” meaning “repairing the world.”

In this case, she said, it was through community service “to help people and make the world a better place.”

Chelsie Field can be reached at cfield@student.umass.edu.

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