Although Superstorm Sandy did not hit the State College area as many believed it would, service organizations in the Penn State community still plan to help those in the community in any capacity possible.
Judy Henry, blood services coordinator for the State College American Red Cross, said that the organization opened up two shelters Monday night in Centre County but has since closed them. She said that Red Cross employees have also been sent to other areas in Pennsylvania that were worse affected by the storm.
“We were armed for the worst and the worst didn’t happen, which was wonderful,” Henry said.
Alyssa Tracy, executive director of Habitat for Humanity at Penn State, said that “canning trip-like weekends” are in the works for her organization to rebuild or even just help clean wherever possible.
She said when she heard the storm was coming for the Northeast she “kind of anticipated” that her organization would begin to plan builds in areas that Penn State students are from.
“I know a lot of people that are affected,” she said.
Tracy said the true aftermath of the storm didn’t hit her until Tuesday morning when she saw the destruction of different areas on the news.
“It’s difficult because there are a lot memories there,” she said referring to different shore destinations she and friends have visited in the past.
Her organization held a meeting Tuesday night to propose these ideas, which everyone supported. Tracy explained that no action can come at this time since Penn State’s Habitat for Humanity would like to go through the Centre County affiliate.
Scott Levine, president of the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, said his organization will be meeting this Friday to discuss how it should contribute to the relief effort. He explained that since the Centre County area wasn’t substantially damaged by the storm, he said his organization will consider doing service in other counties more affected in Pennsylvania.
“We’re going to see if that’s any way a possibility,” Levine said.
Both Tracy and Levine said that if possible, their organizations hope to set up fundraisers in the HUB-Robeson Center where people could freely donate money to their causes that will help rebuild parts of the east coast.
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