The Penn State Berks Christian Student Fellowship (CSF), a student group, is spending their spring break in Queens, New York, helping to rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy. The group of 16 students departed on Sunday, March 9, 2014, and will return on Saturday, March 15.
The CSF group will be staying with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the organization leading the excursion, which connected CSF to the Friends of Rockaway, who will oversee the day-to-day tasks involved in rebuilding the homes ? installing insulation, hanging drywall, painting, and other tasks.
The trip was organized by Pastor David Hershey, adviser to the Berks CSF group and member of the Christian Student Foundation of Pennsylvania. Hershey believes the trip built a sense of community and friendship.
When asked about the goal of the trip, Hershey replied, ?To get some houses built, to help people whose homes were damaged during Hurricane Sandy. I would say along with that, the goal is for the students to experience spiritual growth as they help others, to be shaped more into other-centered people and disciples of Jesus. Such traits of love and service to others translate back to campus community and their future.?
The group includes twelve students from Penn State Berks, two students from Penn State University Park, and one student from Penn State Brandywine. In addition, Penn State Berks alumna Heather Nelson; Mark Groff, Sergeant in Police Services at Penn State Berks; and Deb Ronca, an adult volunteer, will also accompany the student group.
Penn State Berks student volunteers included seniors Elizabeth Boulanger from West Lawn and Hannah McConnell from Mullica Hill, NJ; juniors Jonathan Bender from New Holland, Faith Browne from Darby, Bryson Bugay from Sinking Spring, and Lauren Dale from Downingtown; sophomores Jonathan Hollahan from Glenmoore, Nathan Koehler from Whitehall, Andrew Maiolie from Sinking Spring, Brianna Turman from Birdsboro, and Anthony Urban from Bernville; and first-year students Rebekah Deane from Shillington, Miranda Kane from Elverson, Anthony Lesko from Slatington, Kayla Maneval from Auburn, and James Sweitzer from Reading.