NEWS RELEASE: Pace University Helps Those Hit Hardest by the Storm

NEWS RELEASE: Pace University Helps Those Hit Hardest by the Storm

Pace University Helps Those Hit Hardest by the Storm

NEW YORK, NY, November 14, 2012 – Pace University’s commitment to community service, civic engagement and philanthropy has been put into action even as the university community has been struggling to regain normalcy on all campuses and in the homes of students, administration, staff and faculty. On campus, issues with power restoration, Internet connectivity and phone service have recently been resolved. Off campus, the Pace community is turning adversity into a moment to help those hit even harder.

Pace University students, faculty and staff have helped others in several ways since Superstorm Sandy. Some Pace students who have helped in recovery efforts have returned with tears in their eyes – realizing how fortunate they really are to have only lost power. Others have lost their homes themselves.

Pace University’s resident students from three dorms in lower Manhattan were relocated after the storm for 6 days to One Pace Plaza where heat, food and shelter were provided. Many of these students, as well as Pace residential life staff, turned an otherwise uncomfortable situation into an opportunity for service.

In total, over 250 Pace students have participated in organized projects –

  • Working with elected officials (including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver).
  • Some coordinated by NYC Council, City Hall and Trinity Church on Wall Street.
  • About 20 students helped deliver meals to homebound elderly in Manhattan.
  • Pace is allocating space for 124 displaced pre-school and Kindergarten students.
  • The Pace Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) hosted a clothing drive at three Pace Volleyball home games to aid local residents.
  • The Pleasantville campus was used as a warming center for local residents still without power. Residents warmed up and charged their electronics. Food was provided.
  • Pace Success Mentors helped with clean-up at the Westchester SPCA Friday, 11/2/12.

The football team was featured on the Red Cross website as “a prime example of a community coming together in the face of a massive tragedy.” For the full articles, click here and here.  “This has been a real learning experience,” said one of the players. “When times get tough, we come together and become one to help the less fortunate.”

Upcoming Pace projects include:

  • Film and Screen Studies major and Paramount Pictures intern, Jordan Hirsch, is coordinating a holiday food drive working with the Food Bank of New York City.
  • Pace students will help in clean-up efforts at individual homes in Staten Island.  This is a joint project with The College of Staten Island and All Hands volunteers.  The trip will take place this Sunday, November 18.  Transportation will be provided for students.  Pace alumni and students from Staten Island affected by the storm available for interviews.
One Pace professor, Diane Cypkin, who was born in a DP camp after WWII – lives in Brooklyn and lost her car which “floated away into the Atlantic.” She has had to take mass transportation from Brooklyn to Pleasantville every day since for work. She had this to say on Facebook: “I thought I’d share what I’ve learned these past two weeks . . . since Sandy . . Hurricanes destroy a lot . . . and build at the same time. During the physical storm your head is in a mental storm. After it, in the midst of whatever your “devastation” is, there comes a quiet . . . and the “real” shows up . . . real friends . . . real “good.” I’ve learned. I’m grateful.”

The Director of Student Development and Campus Activities at Pace, Rachel Carpenter, said, “We received two phone calls from an emotionally thankful mother of one of our student staff members.”  Pace sophomore AJ Fazio’s family lost their home and are currently living in temporary housing.  He has three step brothers and his two parents.  Most of their belongings were lost.  Within days Pace staff had donated clothing, bedding, kitchenware, and more.  AJ’s mother said she felt blessed that her son went to a school with such caring staff/faculty.  “It was sometimes difficult to understand her through her tears and powerful emotions,” Carpenter said.  “It really touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes.”

Pace’s Center for Community Action and Research continues to email updates to students with detailed information on how they can help in the recovery efforts of the area.

Media contact: Cara Cea, ccea@pace.edu, 914-906-9680.

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