Photos courtesy of Patricia Moran
Allison Nekola – Copy Editor
Imagine life turned upside down by a natural disaster. Everything is affected, everyone is affected.
To help people in these situations, a new club on campus is dedicated to serving the less fortunate affected by natural disasters.
“Lasell Says Thank You” (LSTY) began with two seniors, Kevin Moloney and Ashley Clary, and junior Steve Saluti.
“All three of us have such a passion for this type of work and helping out others in need that the idea just came to our heads,” said Saluti. “The first service trip I ever went on was last February when a group of RA’s went down to New Jersey to do hurricane relief work. At first I did not know what to expect since I really did not know the other students going too well. But once we got down there it was an absolutely amazing experience,” he said.
Before LSTY officially began, a private relief trip to New Jersey was set up for RAs on campus. The group connected with a business owner, learned his story, and helped restore some of what he lost.
“This all started with the New Jersey trip,” said Trish Moran, advisor of the club. “We thought afterwards to turn this into a club due to the growing popularity of service trips among students.” They visited Atlantic City to help those who lost their businesses to Hurricane Sandy, but worked mainly in Seaside Heights and Tom’s River.
Over the summer, Moloney, Saluti, and Clary led a group to Brooklyn, NY to restore homes for firefighters. “We partnered with ‘Friends of Firefighters,’” said Moran. “Through this connection, we were able to stay in a real firehouse for the duration of the trip.”
Her father was a firefighter for FDNY, which added to the already fulfilling atmosphere.
Applications are required to join. “We didn’t do too much advertising,” said Moran, “I wanted people to seek us out and be extremely committed.”
According to Moran, only 11 applicants responded to the ad on MyLasell, allowing her to avoid making cuts. The application process is easier than other service trips offered on campus. This is so a different variety of students with a common passion for service can afford and access similar trips.
LSTY helps out locally, too. Recently the group took part in a program called, “Newton At Home,” where the group spent the day visiting the elderly. “If you could do something that wouldn’t be done otherwise, it makes a huge difference in that person’s life,” said Moran.
“As a club, we hope to expand,” said Saluti. “We want to go on more trips, but we also want more students who have not ever experience a service trip to have the opportunity to.”
LSTY will host an open meeting on Monday, March 24th at 9:00 p.m. in the Campus Center for students to learn about future trips.