ESU Students and Faculty Members Travel to Storm-Damaged North Carolina for Disaster Relief Work

Posted by: jrivera on March 5, 2014, One Comment

Six East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania students and a faculty member spent a week in North Carolina volunteering to help with disaster relief efforts. From left to right are Emilyn Rosario, a junior from Stroudsburg, Pa., majoring in public health; Margaret Barksdale, a graduate student from Bushkill seeking a master’s in political science; Andrew Yanan, a senior from Green Lane, Pa., majoring in physical education teacher education; Samantha Maier, a junior from Montgomery, N.Y., majoring in Spanish; Kate Rzucidlo, a sophomore from Landenberg, Pa., majoring in communication studies; Abdelis Vega, a senior from Ranshaw, Pa., majoring in communication studies; Gene White, Ph.D., ESU professor of physical education and chair of the physical education teacher education department.

For the ninth year in a row, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania students, accompanied by a faculty member, traveled south in January for disaster relief work.

Gene White, Ph.D., ESU professor of physical education and chair of the physical education teacher education department, and six students spent the week of January 5th in New Bern, N.C., where residents are still suffering the effects of Hurricane Irene, which ravaged many areas in 2009. The ESU students making the trip were Abdelis Vega, a senior from Ranshaw, Pa., majoring in communication studies; Kate Rzucidlo, a sophomore from Landenberg, Pa., majoring in communication studies; Margaret Barksdale, a graduate student from Bushkill, Pa., seeking a master’s in political science; Samantha Maier, a junior from Montgomery, N.Y., majoring in Spanish; Emilyn Rosario, a junior from Stroudsburg, Pa., majoring in public health; and Andrew Yanan, a senior from Green Lane, Pa., majoring in physical education teacher education.

Others on the trip included Mark Oney of the East Stroudsburg United Methodist Church, and groups from West Chester University and Rowan University. The volunteers’ rigorous work included removing and replacing roofs on several homes.

The mission trips started in January 2006 after Hurricane Katrina. Initially, volunteers consisted of ESU students, Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (PSAHPERD) professional members, and members of the East Stroudsburg United Methodist Church. The next year, the same groups sent participants and were joined by volunteers from West Chester University, Slippery Rock University and Temple University. New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance financially sponsored students from Rowan, the College of New Jersey and Montclair State University. Since then, ESU, WCU and Rowan students have continued the work, along with PSAHPERD members. The volunteers have traveled to Gulfport, Miss., Waveland, Miss., Pascagoula, Miss., Bayou La Batre, Ala., and Swan Quarter, N.C.

“We have cleaned out homes with black mold, dry-walled, painted, torn off and replaced roofs and offered a ‘listening ear,’” White said. “Many of our participants come back year after year. It is a tremendous learning experience for all.”

All participants donate their time, pay all of their own expenses and have enough money left over to leave the host church a gift.

“Deans from ESU, WCU and Rowan have financially supported our efforts, too,” White added. “We hope to continue this learning experience.”



One Response to “ESU Students and Faculty Members Travel to Storm-Damaged North Carolina for Disaster Relief Work”


Allison

Posted March 5, 2014 at 10:29 AM

Awesome job! Thank you for your gift of giving.

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