Tim Martinez: 4 Years After Alternative Spring Break
Seven years ago, Hurricane Sandy took the lives and homes of many people, leaving only destruction and tears in its wake. 4 years ago, the Center For Community Action & Research (CCAR) at Pace University organized a trip for us students to go assist in the rebuilding of the Far Rockaways, located in Queens NY. Prior to leaving for the service trip it was explained to us that after 3 years the Rockaways was still damaged from Hurricane Sandy and in need of extra help to help get the area back on its feet.
I can vividly remember the area, the houses that appeared fine, and then as the van kept moving to out destination, the whole area that was just full of houses that looked like they’ve received barely any help. I remember how bad I felt that day, knowing that all the people who should be living in these homes have been displaced for the past 3 years. I also remember how good it felt and how much fun it was helping to rebuild somebodies home with people who wanted to help make a difference.
Looking back on Alternative Spring Break (ASB) 4 years later I can clearly see that ASB has become one of the highlights of my college life. Not only did it make me more aware of how much extra help a community may need after a huge disaster, but it helped motivate me to give a hand whenever I can and participate in community service activities whenever I’m able to. I’m not saying ASB changed my life completely, but it was definitely one of the major factors.