SJC Students Help Rebuild Town Destroyed by Tornado

May 01, 2012

PATCHOGUE, NY MAY 2, 2012 A dedicated group of students and faculty from both the Long Island and Brooklyn campuses of St. Josephs College (SJC) opted for an alternative spring break trip this year to Joplin, MO, where they aided in recovery efforts for the town that was destroyed last year by a catastrophic tornado.

"These students chose to give their time and effort to help make a difference in a region that was devastated by a natural disaster, said Patrick Tracy, director of campus ministry for SJCs Long Island Campus. "By partnering with other student volunteers and organizations, we helped to clean away rubble from destruction, build storm shelters and create gardens for a school in the area that was still in recovery, almost a year later. It was an inspiring experience and we always get more than we give when we help others.

For this years trip, SJC partnered with Relief Spark, an organization that coordinates collective relief efforts for volunteers to assist in the remodeling and rebuilding of homes, landscaping, general maintenance, gardening, tutoring and career counseling, in areas of need. 

"The Spring Break trip to Joplin was an incredible experience, said Brendan Carey, web editor for both the Long Island and Brooklyn campuses of SJC who served as the photographer and videographer for the trip. "The level of destruction, even 10 months later, was truly unimaginable and often took my breath away. I was truly moved by the incredible selflessness these students displayed in giving up their spring break to travel halfway across the country to help total strangers.

Previous spring break trips for SJC students have included helping to build a day care center and playground in Nicaragua, and building homes with Habitat for Humanity in Georgetown, South Carolina.