Helping Out Sandy Victims

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Students at Hampton Bays are quick to react when they discover those in need. The past month has been no exception, as the entire Hampton Bays Middle School community has pulled together to help families left in need from the brutal effects of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the northeast coastline on Monday, Oct. 29. The action was immediate, according to teacher Rick Nydegger. “It was the day we got back,” he said. “The students realized, ‘We can help those people, let’s go.’ A lot of kids wanted to step up.”

And that’s just what they’ve been doing, donating several hundred items each of canned goods, nonperishable food, clothing and toiletries. Coats and jackets, potable water and sanitary supplies, such as paper towels and hand wipes, are still at the top of the list of much-needed items, Mr. Nydegger said, adding that the donations have been delivered throughout the island to those who have been displaced by Sandy, as well as to local food pantries and organizations in need of such supplies.

In addition to bringing in items to donate, a few dozen students, including members of the OWL and SADD clubs and students in the Life Skills classes, have taken an even more hands-on approach. Life Skills teacher Moira Hayes said that her students have been thoroughly involved in the drives for food and basic necessities, helping out the community by bringing in donated goods as well as sorting and packing up the supplies. “It’s a skills-oriented activity that’s perfect practice,” she said. “They come in every day and help.”

Echoing the goodwill sentiment felt throughout the community, Life Skills student Marisol Guevera summed up why it’s so important for the Hampton Bays community to do their part. “You have to help people,” she said.