On Saturday, November 17, more than 50 SVA students and staff members gathered to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. Organized by the Office of Student Affairs and the Visual Arts Student Association (VASA), the group traveled to the Midland Beach neighborhood of Staten Island, a community that was decimated by the storm.
SVA volunteers spent the day assisting two families, helping to bring their homes and lives a step closer to recovery. The dedicated group of students and staff worked hard to gut and clean out two homes in a neighborhood that saw an eight foot storm surge. “It was a powerful experience for all of us to not only see the devastating impact the storm had on so many families, but also to be a part of the awesome team of SVA students and staff who came together to help people recover,” said Bill Martino, Director of Student Affairs. “I am proud to be a part of the community of caring students and administrators that we have at SVA and the project was evidence of just how amazing that community is.”
In addition to the work on the two homes, a smaller group spent some time walking the neighborhood and talking to people in the community. They gave out packages with handmade cookies with the message “SVA Cares” as well as individually drawn cards with messages of support. These packages were created in a collaborative effort between the MPS Art Therapy Department and the Office of Student Affairs.
Martino and the students were joined by SVA Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes, Ron Callahan (Senior Systems Administrator, MFA Design Department), MFA Products of Design Department Chair Allan Chochinov, Associate Director of Residence Life Laurel Christy, Residence Hall Director Adam Krumm, Physical Plant Director Martha Pellegrino, Executive Director of Facilities Jim Pirot, Registrar Jon Todd and Executive Director of Admissions and Student Affairs Javier Vega.
Another volunteer outing has been organized for Saturday, December 1. On that day, a team from SVA will be heading out to the Rockaways.
Images: (top) ChaHyun Jik; (bottom two) Jennifer Steffey.