January 26, 2015

Scrolling Headlines:

Paranormal Research Society seeks to uncover the truth about the supernatural -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass tops Merrimack 4-1 to cap off successful weekend series -

Monday, January 26, 2015

‘Broad City’s’ second season off to a wickedly funny start -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Students respond to Obama’s State of the Union address -

Monday, January 26, 2015

St. Bonaventure earns tight victory, VCU clinches 11th straight win in Atlantic 10 men’s basketball action -

Monday, January 26, 2015

An open letter to the people who were kind when I was struggling -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass club hockey salvages weekend with tie against NYU on Saturday -

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 Winter TCA’s announce bevy of show returns and new releases -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Brilliant online film archives for cinema lovers -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass men’s and women’s track and field teams see mixed results in Joe Donahue Indoor Games -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Steve Mastalerz, defense delivers for UMass hockey -

Monday, January 26, 2015

UMass online graduate programs climb U.S. News & World Report rankings -

Monday, January 26, 2015

Front to Back: Week of Jan. 25, 2015 -

Sunday, January 25, 2015

BLOG: UMass football receives seven verbal commitments -

Sunday, January 25, 2015

UMass plans to fail again with Super Bowl guest policy -

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Special teams play fuels late UMass rally, forces tie -

Saturday, January 24, 2015

BLOG: UMass hires Mark Michaels as special teams coordinator, outside linebackers coach -

Friday, January 23, 2015

Former Tibetan political prisoner overcomes odds in Tibet and the US -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

UMass basketball falls flat in loss to St. Joe’s -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

‘Selma’ resonates with the here and now -

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Click here to visit UMass Dining
Click here to visit UMass Dining

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.

Leave A Comment