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Students Plan Spring Break Trip to Rebuild Jersey Shore After Hurricane Sandy
12.21.12 |

LVC students are charged with fulfilling the College’s mission to prepare students for a life of service to others. This is a task that Dutchmen have historically embraced, and this year is no exception.

Each year, a group of students devotes their spring break to service – usually in another state and often in areas that have been hard hit by natural disaster. Though already in the planning stages for a trip to the Midwest, the LVC community decided their efforts would be more impactful by responding to the Jersey Shore, much of which was completely devastated after late October’s Hurricane Sandy.

Lebanon Valley College has had a large percentage of students from New Jersey over the years, and numerous New Jersey natives serve in various capacities on the College staff. For these reasons, the upcoming trip to the Jersey Shore is especially meaningful.

“Registration for this trip has been one of the highlights of my work at LVC,” said LVC Chaplain Paul Fullmer, who coordinates the trip as part of his role as director of community service. “Registration began at 12:00 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 26 and ended at 12:04 a.m. 35 students filled the electronic roster in just four minutes! These 35 students will give up five full days of their spring break for the trip. Many won’t have an opportunity to get home before classes begin again. It is quite a sacrifice, but the students on the trip are passionate about making a difference.”
LVC staff members who grew up on the Jersey Shore will give presentations in advance of the spring break trip to share their knowledge of the region’s history and its current devastation.

David Shapiro ’99, LVC’s director of information technology services, will lead the first “Down the Shore” discussion on Jan. 22. Shapiro, who grew up in Toms River, N.J., will  give a brief overview of the Jersey Shore and Hurricane Sandy.

Later “Down the Shore” discussions will cover the music and people of the Jersey Shore. When the students return, they will present a recap of their own community service in a March 12 “Down the Shore” discussion.

“I expect that we are going to have our eyes opened to the seriousness of the situation once we get there,” Fullmer said. “The impact of being at the site of such natural disasters is invariably life-changing.”

LVC partners with the Camp Hill-based volunteer organization Lend A Hand in planning the alternative spring break trips. According to Fullmer, Lend A Hand staff are already in touch with local leaders of faith communities and organizations to discern which individuals need the most assistance on the Jersey Shore.

“This advance work is particularly important this year because there are many vacation homes and businesses located along the shore. We’ll be prioritizing privately owned dwellings which serve as primary residences,” Fullmer said.

To learn more about supporting the students’ efforts during their alternative spring break, please contact the Office of Community Service at 717-867-6135.

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