A group of volunteers from The Harvey School spent another Saturday this past weekend helping victims of Hurricane Sandy on the Rockaways in Queens. Seventeen students in grades 10 through 12 and seven members of the faculty worked in four teams — three in Breezy Point with the cleanup effort and a fourth distributing and serving hot meals to residents at the donation center at St. Camillus Church in Rockaway Park — on Saturday, Dec. 15.
The project was the initiative of students in Harvey’s Community Service Club. Adviser Susan Harris said her team spent most of the day at one home removing bathroom fixtures, disposing of wall and floor tiles, and cleaning up all the sand and debris from the ground floor of the house. Ms. Harris said she was proud of the effort the students gave. “They were working on demolition and cleanup and had to push themselves to do things that were physically challenging.”
Harvey sophomore Ally Rosenfeld spent her time at the donation center sorting through clothes and serving meals.
“It made me realize how fortunate I am and gave me a sense of accomplishment.” She said she was inspired to do more for the community.
When her group was finished it toured the storm-ravaged area of Breezy Point where fires destroyed many homes. Ms. Harris was struck by seeing the ruins of hundreds of homes with only a few personal belongings surviving the destruction. “It’s quite disturbing to see such devastation, and find little gems among the rubble.”
Harvey’s volunteer efforts were coordinated by Far Rockaways native and Cross River resident Ali Giglio, who has led several local efforts to bring relief to the Queens neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Sandy.