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College Students Collect Donations for Hurricane Sandy Victims

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When Hurricane Sandy struck the East coast in late October, students at the College of Mount St. Joseph (MSJ) in Ohio asked what could they do to help storm victims. The students turned to Kristen Hedgebeth, MSJ’s service learning director, to help coordinate a relief effort.

A few calls later, the result was a campus-wide campaign to collect supplies for Matthew 25: Ministries of Blue Ash, Ohio, one of the relief agencies aiding storm victims.

Hedgebeth set up collection headquarters in her office, in the MSJ Career Center. Emails were sent out across campus. Word of mouth did the rest. They had to act fast to get the donations to Matthew 25: Ministries in time before their truck convoys headed to the storm zone.

Hedgebeth said much-needed supplies were collected, including blankets, tarps, diapers and baby formula. Around 10-15 bags filled up the trunk and back of her car. Monetary donations also came in.

Kristen Hedgebeth of the College of Mount St. Joseph, after dropping off relief supplies at Matthew 25: Ministries. (photo courtesy of Joodi Archer)

Kristen Hedgebeth of the College of Mount St. Joseph, after dropping off relief supplies at Matthew 25: Ministries. (photo courtesy of Joodi Archer)

The items were dropped off at the Matthew 25: Ministries warehouses on Saturday and quickly loaded onto trucks to head to storm-hit areas.

Joodi Archer of Matthew 25: Ministries (M25M) says the agency “estimates that a total of 50 truckloads of aid will be distributed in the disaster region in the upcoming months.”

Matthew25Hedgebeth, in a statement to the MSJ campus yesterday, wrote, “Your generous donations had a big impact on Matthew 25: Ministries Hurricane Sandy relief/collection efforts…. Community members came together to organize and package resources to be shipped to the east coast and other areas still struggling as a result of the storms. M25M asked that we pass along a message of sincere thanks for helping them to continue to serve Hurricane Sandy victims.”

MSJ professor Bill Lonneman also spent a week helping relief efforts in New York and Connecticut as a volunteer for the Red Cross. The storm had a devastating impact and its effect will take many months to overcome. Donations and assistance coming from the Mount and others will go a long way toward helping this recovery.

Author note: To write this story I ran one mile to the MSJ campus and one mile back. This run also raised money for Hurricane Sandy relief through Charity Miles, a free cell phone app. For every mile run a donation is being made currently to Feeding America’s Hurricane relief fund to supply emergency foodbanks in the storm areas.

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.