Friday, November 21, 2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Rutgers University’s Student Volunteer Council

A couple weekends ago, SBP in New Jersey had the pleasure of welcoming Rutgers University’s (New Brunswick campus) Student Volunteer Council. Many of the students in the group grew up in New Jersey and many members of the Rutgers community was impacted by Hurricane Sandy, which helped influence their decision in volunteering with us. 

One of the volunteers explains how “Sandy Relief is one of [their] most popular and successful services because of the lasting memories of what Sandy did. Sea Bright was a perfect choice for [them] because it allowed [their] group to easily and effectively volunteer to make an impact on restoration.” Sixteen members came in early Saturday morning to complete task, such as putting up drywall and applying Spackle in one of the homes. 

Despite the weather being cold and windier than they expected it to be they worked hard throughout the day to get the job done with the help of their site supervisor, Koffi Ayi. “I think what made our volunteer experience so great was really our site leader. He was very determined to give our volunteers a meaningful experience, and was really a pleasure to be around,” says one of the student volunteers. 

Most of the members agreed that what made this experience unique was that their site leader truly allowed for them to get the most out of their experience. A piece of advice Rutgers University Student Volunteer Council has for future volunteers is to “plan out everything ahead and maybe research about what you will be doing.” 

Thanks for all your hard work Rutgers University Student Volunteer Council -- we hope to see you out here again soon!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Volunteer Spotlight: Mormon Helping Hands

This past month, SBP/Friends of Rockaway was pleased to work with members of the Mormon Helping Hands (MHH) group of Utah and California. Like many of our volunteer groups, MHH learned of SBP/FoR through word of mouth. Friends of theirs who had worked with FoR told them about the great service opportunities in Rockaway, so the members of MHH were excited to join our mission. As missionaries stationed in the New York area for the next few months, the volunteers are looking forward to helping rebuild their newly adopted community as they spread their spiritual message.

The Mormon Helping Hands team has tackled a number of construction jobs during its time in the Rockaways. According to group member Elder Tannen Bills, they have “tiled, painted, put in floors and siding, mudded, broken cement, hung drywall, and sanded!” Volunteers enjoyed working with SBP/FoR for its unique approach to the service experience. They lauded our organization for its “professional feel,” the “personal aspect that allows you to talk about what you’re actually doing,” and the fact that there is “always something to do!”

As for their favorite parts of the service opportunity, MHH volunteers appreciated that they got to “get down and dirty,” “work with [their] hands,” “help in general,” and “meet new people.” One group member added “sledgehammers are fun” and “causing [helpful] destruction” to the list of enjoyable volunteer activities. The team advises future volunteers to “bring water...and a spray bottle” and to “learn as much as you can -- mudding isn’t as hard as you think!”

Thanks so much for your hard work, Mormon Helping Hands -- we look forward to working with you all over the coming months!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Volunteer Spotlight: One Brick

The St. Bernard Project was grateful to have representatives from 10 One Brick chapters join us in service this past week. Volunteers traveled from all corners of the United States, representing California, Virginia, Texas, Washington, North Carolina, Minnesota, New York, Michigan, Massachusetts and Illinois.

One volunteer said, “One Brick has been coming to New Orleans since 2007 and we love working
with SBP. Your organization is helping people that have been through a tough experience and deserve to have a place to call home."

Volunteers got their hands dirty on site while cutting and installing baseboards, window trim and hardy board. They also did a ton of caulking and painting and helped to install doors and door knobs.They would give this advice to future volunteers, “Don’t be afraid if you do not have any construction experience – SBP is great at showing you what to do.  Have fun and truly embrace the experience.”

When asked what makes working with the St. Bernard Project special they responded, “Working with SBP is a unique experience because it has been 9 years since Katrina hit New Orleans and there are so many people that have been forgotten by most, but still need help.“