Friday, March 20, 2015

Volunteer Spotlight: NYU Goddaidites


New York University’s Rubin team connected with Friends of Rockaway through the NYU Center of Student Activities, Leadership and Service’s Martin Luther King Week of Service initiative, which is in its tenth year! Student who sign for volunteer service through the school are assigned to various service projects throughout the city to put Dr. King’s dream into practice. This year we were lucky enough to welcome thirty-three volunteers from the program. NYU's global draw—with volunteers hailing from across the country and from countries such as Singapore and China—helped make the Week of Service a particularly unique experience!

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”                                                  -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The NYU team served at two homes in varying stages of the reconstruction process. Their tasks ran the gamut of our services; at the Stack Family house, for instance, one could not turn a corner without finding members of their group working tirelessly at their assignments. The volunteers painted, mudded, sanded, and cleaned, in addition to doing light demolition work. Over lunch, we asked them to describe their volunteer experience with Friends of Rockaway and St. Bernard Project.

What was your favorite part of the volunteer experience?
“It was really memorable hearing the story of the home owner. It makes a big difference because we know exactly what all our efforts are going towards.”

“A lot of community service projects are usually based around temporary things, but through St. Bernard Project we are making a more permanent change for this family.”

“I have really enjoyed learning new skills and the structure of a house. It’s good to learn little bits about everything; I feel like it makes you a better person.”

Do you have any advice for future volunteers?
“Be prepared to get dirty!”

“It’s a lot of fun and it’s really rewarding to see the developments that are happening.”

“Cover your shoes before you go to paint!”

How was this volunteer work unique from other service experiences you've had?
Getting to work with adults who aren't just here for service hours, because it’s inspiring to see that the people who work here care about what they do.”

Thanks for all your hard work, NYU Goddaidites; we hope to work with you again soon!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Volunteer Spotlight: Grand Valley State Alternative Breaks Program

GVS at SBP NJ Headquarters
St. Bernard Project New Jersey was happy to welcome Grand Valley State Alternative Breaks to the Jersey Shore! Alternative Breaks is a registered student organization at Grand Valley State that organizes and executes a variety of volunteer service trips that range from work in affordable housing to disaster recovery. 

We asked the group members to share some thoughts on their experience: 

Why did you group choose to serve with SBP NJ?

"We wanted to be a part of the ongoing disaster recovery efforts on the Jersey Shore."

What construction tasks did your group do this week?

"We did so much: insulation, caulking, painting, demolition and pulling nearly 1,000 nails!"

What was your favorite part of the volunteer experience?

"Meeting so many new people who demonstrated such passion for disaster recovery."

"It was really moving to hear the homeowner stories and all they have been through since the storm."

"The site supervisors were wonderful and very engaging!"

"It felt great seeing the tangible impact we has as the week progressed. Building a home was very rewarding!"

What is your advice for future volunteers?

"Don't be afraid to ask questions!"

"Be willing to try new things."

"Take some time to explore the Jersey Shore; it is wonderful!"

If you want to come help us rebuild the Jersey Shore, register online today: