In the fall of 2011, an historic flood hit the city of Binghamton. Rain from Tropical Storms Lee and Irene had devastating effects, destroying many homes and causing tens of thousands of people to evacuate the area. It took over $513 million in funds to rebuild Broome County (with rebuilding still underway) and $1.7 million in State/Federal aid.
In the wake of the flood, Binghamton University staff and students took it upon themselves to provide aid and shelter to those whose homes had been flooded. The Events Center and West Gym served as shelters for over 1,600 people. Sodexo and others donated food, Decker students volunteered to provide health services, and organizations held many fundraisers and events to raise money for victims of the flood. Student from all over campus volunteered to muck out homes and today they are helping to rebuild.
This year, much of the East Coast (in addition to Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Bahamas) is suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In the United States, New York and New Jersey suffered enormous consequences. The impact led to losses of power, destruction of many homes, and a death toll of over 110 people.
Binghamton had the good fortune of escaping the impact of the storm, but the families of many students were affected by Sandy. As such, it comes as no surprise that the BU community is doing what it can to assist all who were affected.
Recently, Habitat for Humanity and Tau Alpha Upsilon held a fundraiser called "Cloudy with a Chance of Pancakes", where event attendees paid a mere $3 for unlimited pancakes. Nearly $1,000 was raised, and all proceeds went to Hurricane Sandy relief.
BU students Dana Borrero and Nicholas Agostino, two Staten Island residents, held a week-long donation drive in the leasing office in University Plaza. According to Borrero and WBNG, a total of $7,000 worth of donations from Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, BLGG's Deli, Mario's Pizza and Panera Bread were received. "We were able to send home 5 full cars and 1 full work van of supplies," said Borrero. The success of the drive led to the expansion to placing drop boxes at UP and locations on University campus. The two have also set up a WePay account for online monetary donations, held several bake sales, and fundraisers at UNO's and Mad Moose restaurants. All proceeds will be donated to the Thomas Siller T2T foundation, who have set up a fund for Hurricane Sandy Victims.
Yet another tactic in raising money was created by BU student Danielle Bittleman. Bittleman created the "Hurrican't" project, designed to sell T-shirts supporting Sandy victims for only $13; 100% of the profits will go to the Salvation Army.
The Center for Civic Engagement is proud to announce that we have created a website dedicated solely to Hurricane Sandy; visitors can find information on where and how they can volunteer their services, make donations, organize an effective fundraiser, and more. Please check out the site for ongoing information and please email us if you would like us to help promote your Hurricane Sandy Relief event!