Lasell Team Travels to NJ to Help with Superstorm Clean-Up

Lasell Team Travels to NJ to Help with Superstorm Clean-Up

February 20, 2013

The October destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey may be a distant memory to some; for 10 Lasell College resident assistants, however, it is very much in the present tense. A volunteer team of students recently traveled to NJ for clean-up work along the coast.

The Lasell team, organized and led by Residential Life Area Coordinator Patricia Moran and junior Kevin Moloney, traveled over President's Day Weekend to assist with relief and recovery work in Atlantic City and Seaside Heights, winning praise for their efforts from grateful residents, Americorps and Sister Jean's Kitchen agencies.

Moloney knew after Superstorm Sandy that "Lasell was a community willing to pitch in." As a resident assistant, Moloney organized the first service trip to NJ specifically for resident assistants. "It is amazing how one storm can change an entire region in an instant. That is why this trip had to happen, and why similar trips need to happen," Moloney said.

The Lasell group assisted with recovery work at Memory Lane Concessions snack bar, a cornerstone of the famous Seaside Heights boardwalk. Working alongside teams from Utah, Colorado and Washington, Lasell students began a clean-up process that Memory Lane Concessions owner Bob Berger says will be completed by March.

Superstorm Sandy pushed almost three feet of sand into the building, wrecking the snack bar's interior. Berger, who visited the snack bar as a child, allowed two toy shovels found on the site to be signed by Americorps workers and Lasell students, one of which will remain at Memory Lane Concessions, the second was given to Lasell.

"I want to express my gratitude to your college. This was an incredible thing to do," Berger said.

Farther down the Jersey Shore, the Lasell group cleared out a flooded basement in Atlantic City to create more affordable housing for the 1,000 residents in that area still displaced by the storm. "We did a lot of work but there is still so much to do. I'm happy we were able to help," said Ashley Clary '14.

The students hope to return later this year .

Community Collaborations International scheduled the Lasell service trips with Americorps and Sister Jean's Kitchen and provided the student volunteers with guidance and support.

In Photo: Lasell volunteers who traveled to New Jersey were (back, left to right): Alexandra Ferri '14, Antonio Nesbitt'13, Kevin Moloney '14, Steven Saluti '15, Ashley Clary '14, Residential Life Area Coordinator Patricia Moran, Holly Irvin, '13, William Dempsey '13. (Front left to right): Kristen Silvia '14, Rebecca Bissonnette '15, Danielle Fortin '15.