Carle Place students help Habitat For Humanity efforts
While Hurricane Sandy is a far-removed memory for most people, for many New Yorkers, the effects of the 2012 storm are still too real. Carle Place students recently picked up hammers, drills and paintbrushes to help their Breezy Point neighbors struggling to rebuild after the storm as part of a volunteer activity with the SPARC/Interact club. This is the third time SPARC/Interact club advisor Kieran Morris has led a group of students to Breezy Point, Queens to aid a Habitat for Humanity crew in restoring homes torn apart by Sandy. A group of nine students from Carle Place joined with eight students from Mineola High School’s SPARC club to spend the day clearing construction debris, moving appliances, painting molding and installing insulation as well as sub-flooring.
“These group of kids don’t have to work for service credits or a class, they do it because they want to,” Morris said. “These kids are excited to get out there and get their hands dirty and meet the people. The Breezy people were so appreciative of these kids.”
Junior Emily Cotter helped clean and rake up sand as well as put in screws for a new attic floor.
“It was a really rewarding experience,” Cotter said. “Living where we live right now, we didn’t get affected much but seeing the devastation that Hurricane Sandy caused was very humbling. We might have lost a tree or power, but they were living in condemned houses or were kicked out of their houses.”
The SPARC/Interact Club does numerous service projects each month, including helping at soup kitchens and shoveling snow for senior citizens. Morris said the kids walk away more empathetic, with many of them going on to do service projects after high school.
“Many of these kids go on to join Habitat organizations in college and do a weeklong build. You’re planting the seed now in young people and hoping it goes forward,” Morris said. “Our kids are getting an experience of someone else’s pain firsthand, and they’re able to help heal.”