By Chang Su and Ilana Urman
Although Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in late October 2012, its devastating aftermath is still felt today. Despite the outpouring of aid from various organizations and institutions, it hasn’t been enough to get many of the victims’ lives back on track.
Some of those affected most by Sandy are fellow students and teachers. Because of this, in February of 2013 some of Tech’s most popular organizations, including the American Red Cross Club, Key Club, National BETA Club, National Honor Society, and National Society for Black Engineers, established Tech United.
“All the major service clubs wanted to do events concerning Sandy, so through the leadership of Michelle Cheung we were able to come together and have one giant event that can be better than several small events,” explained Infither Chowdhury ’14.
These five clubs organized a drive to help the recovery effort. Students were encouraged to donate flashlights, winter clothing, canned food, toiletries, socks, and batteries to 7C1. Donations were made during lunch periods, as well as in Room 7S7 during periods nine and ten.
The money raised was donated to the Salvation Army, where it will be distributed directly to a relief center in Staten Island. Those students who donated items not only helped Hurricane Sandy victims, but also received club or service credits accordingly.
Joseph Kaelin, the Coordinator of Student Activities, said that clubs are reaching out to students and urging them to participate. The awarded points and service credits serve as encouragement and incentive for students to bring in any of the requested relief items.
Various students voiced their support for the relief effort.
“The Hurricane Sandy relief event is an awesome event because Tech students, in a small way, can help those affected,” said Andrew Yeung ’14.
Matthew Krikorian ’15 said, “I think it’s a great way for students to respect what they have and really evaluate their current situation to better the situations of those in need.”
Chowdhury ’14 added, “I believe this event will help students come together for a strong cause and prompt them to work together to help the communities that have been struck by Sandy. It can boost school spirit because we have a common goal of helping the people hurt by Sandy.”
Kaelin commented that the drive seemed to be going relatively well. During the month of February, students actively brought in donations.
Johnny Ventura, the guidance counselor of Chemical Engineering, reported that hundreds of canned goods, winter coats, gloves and hats were collected.
Ventura expressed his appreciation for the event. “The great thing about this is that even though it’s already February and the storm was in November, people are still giving stuff in, and that’s amazing. The Tech community donated a lot of stuff, and people have given overwhelming response.”