Bloomfield College survived Superstorm Sandy with minimal damage. A grateful community sprang into action to help those who did not fare as well.
The Center for Leadership and Engagement, staff from student affairs and students began meeting to develop plans for immediate and long range planning for collections, fund raisers and on-site help. A call went out for donations of water, toiletries, undergarments, and blankets. “The response has been overwhelming,” says Jennifer Troxell, director of CSLE. “We have hundreds of pounds of donated goods and more are coming in every day.” These will be distributed through Salvation Army and World Cares who are working directly with victims of the storm.
Veronica Dodrill ’13 developed a logo specifically for hurricane relief through the college and it is being imprinted on buttons and tee shirts that will be offered up for sale by Team Infinite. The entrance to the student center has been staffed daily with homemade baked goods for sale and movie tickets are being raffled off for $1 per chance.
On November 14, a Thanksgiving dinner was hosted by the Bloomfield College Student Government and the occasion became an opportunity for additional donations for the cause. The BCSG is planning additional fundraisers for the community and other groups on campus are becoming involved with non-profits that are running specialized collections for Sandy victims. For example, the Honor Program and Psi Chi are planning a pajama and book drive. This drive will collect warm pajamas and books for children to help chase away their nightmares and keep them toasty during the upcoming cold winter nights.
Nereida Montijo, the coordinator of serving learning and diversity initiatives, took 40 students to Brick Township to start cleaning out homes that were flooded by the storm surges. Working with a local church, they helped residents fill out work orders and started the clean-ups.
A few of the students were directly affected by the storm with loss of homes and property. The Student Emergency Loan Fund, set up by former trustee Archie Palmer and his wife Lynn, has helped with emergency on-campus housing and meals for students and the community is looking into adopting families that lost everything by fundraising for gift cards to food, department, and hardware stores.
As time goes on and more need emerges, the community stands at the ready to become involved. “Our students are truly amazing,” says Rose Mitchell, associate dean of students. “They have supported one another through this and have gone above and beyond to help complete strangers.”