The Catholic University of America

Nov. 5, 2012

CUA Helps Hurricane Sandy Victims

The Catholic University of America will host an American Red Cross blood drive on Friday, Nov. 9, to help those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Sponsored by the Office of Campus Ministry, the blood drive will be held in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, Great Room B, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to the aid organization’s website, nearly 360 Red Cross blood drives were cancelled due to the storm, representing a loss of as many as 12,000 blood and platelet products.

Campus Ministry is also helping to provide information for those wishing to donate to relief efforts. Members of the CUA community are urged to donate money to Catholic Charities and to offer prayers for all those affected by the storm. Campus Ministry also encourages all students, faculty, and staff to visit the CUA Cares website (http://cuacares.cua.edu) for more information about Catholic University’s relief efforts.

“We plan to post the collections that students are starting to organize themselves,” says Emmjolee Waters, associate director of Campus Ministry and community service. “So many of our students are from these areas and have been affected in so many ways.”

Sophomore business major Matthew Petronis of Breezy Point, N.Y., has launched an online fundraising campaign to enable his hometown’s co-op to rebuild homes and other parts of the town. Breezy Point was hit hard by the storm, which flooded city streets and damaged homes. On top of that, a fire triggered by the storm destroyed more than 100 houses.

Through social networking, the help of family and friends, and the attention of the media, the campaign had raised more than $45,062 by Nov. 5 through the WePay website, https://www.wepay.com/donations/hurricane-sandy-raising-money-for-breezy-point.

Petronis’ own home was flooded with about 10 feet of water and the deck surrounding the house was ripped off.

“I was devastated at first, but knew someone had to remain positive and keep everyone’s spirits up,” Petronis says. “I decided to remain positive and see this as a start to a new beginning for Breezy Point. I knew I was far away from home, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t help.”

Petronis has set a goal of raising $500,000.

Nick Compagnone, a sophomore philosophy/pre-law major, is also behind a donation collection to aid recovery in his hometown of Rockaway, N.Y. His home's first floor and basement were also flooded. Donations through WePay https://www.wepay.com/donations/hurricane-sandy-relief-for-rockaway reached $17,308 with 208 donors responding as of Nov. 5. The goal is $100,000.

On the donation website, he writes, “Rockaway isn't just a place with regular people; it's one giant family who stand beside each other through everything.”

All funds collected are going to the Graybeards Organization, a non-profit organization originally founded to aid Rockaway families affected by the 9/11 attacks. A link to the donation site is also at http://www.graybeards.com.

To make a blood donation appointment, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation. Participants must enter sponsor code 05312216. For more information about the blood drive or to arrange for special accommodations, contact cua-campus-ministry@cua.edu.

Rev. Jude DeAngelo, O.F.M. Conv., University chaplain and director of Campus Ministry, says there are many ways for the CUA community to respond. He added that some parishes are planning to be donation drop-off locations, and CUA Cares will include a posting of those locations.

CUA Cares is a movement that has mobilized in the past after tragedies in Japan, Haiti, the Gulf Coast states, and the South Pacific.

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