CUNY Works: Volunteering for Sandy’s Victims

November 20, 2012 | The University

Squads of CUNY students spent Saturday, Nov. 17, helping with cleanup and solace after Hurricane Sandy. Leading the College of Staten Island’s effort was alumna and graduate student Mary Beth Melendez, who is blind. CNN journalist Anderson Cooper had met her after the storm, when she was bringing homemade food to those in need. On Saturday, she and some 20 CSI students, faculty and staff delivered Thanksgiving turkeys that his “Anderson Live” TV show provided; tape was to air Wednesday, Nov. 21, at noon on Fox 5.

In the Rockaways, students from several CUNY campuses wearing special “CUNY Works” T-shirts cleared wreckage, did demolition and spread the word about relief efforts to businesses in part of Council Member James Sanders Jr.’s district. The team included students from the Ernesto Malave Leadership Academy and the CUNY Coalition for Students with Disabilities. They traveled from Manhattan in a double-decker tour bus arranged by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

College of Staten Island President William J. Fritz, in hat, joined students, faculty and staff from the college in loading holiday turkey dinners provided by the "Anderson Live" TV show for Sandy's victims.

College of Staten Island student Mary Beth Melendez, center, speaks with fellow CSI students and administrators who volunteered with the national disaster-relief group, All Hands Volunteers. They met at the Robert DeFalco Realty building on Hylan Boulevard, which had donated space at the behest of CSI officials.

CSI volunteers showed their enthusiasm for the relief effort.

CUNY volunteers from several campuses carted away debris from homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

CUNY's hard-working team aided residents who had contacted Council Member James Sanders Jr.

… including going into stores to talk with owners, employees and customers.