Cheerleaders Help With Sandy Relief

The New Paltz Cheerleading team has taken action to help those affected by Superstorm Sandy.

Sandy hit the east coast on Monday, Oct. 29, damaging homes and causing power outages in New York, New Jersey and other parts of the Northeast.

In response, the SUNY New Paltz Cheerleading team has been taking collections for those affected in Rockaway and Breezy Point since their drive last Monday, Nov. 5, in the Student Union,  Alicia Saia, a fourth-year communication disorders major and co-captain of the cheerleading team said.

The team is accepting anything students can give, but the families who are now without homes are in dire need of warm clothing, blankets, non-perishable foods, water, batteries, flashlights, gloves, garbage bags, cleaning supplies and over-the-counter medications,  Ashley Rosado, a fourth-year communication disorders major and co-captain of the cheerleading team said.

“About half of our team members are from Long Island, Staten Island or Queens, so a lot of us have close friends and relatives that were affected,”  Rosado said. “It is very difficult to hear about family and friends dealing with the aftermath of the storm and not being able to be there with them for the clean-up.”

Rosado said the team began this drive because they wanted to take an active role in helping those suffering from Sandy.

“We figured the least we could do is help them get the items they could use to make their situation a little easier,” she said.

Saia said the drive has been going well.

“We had a pretty good amount of donations but we could always use more and anything helps,” she said.

All of the items collected at their first drive were taken to the affected areas on Long Island by cheerleaders, Rosado said. However, she said another drop off will be scheduled once more supplies are collected.

Some students have responded negatively to drives on campus due to time and money constraints like Rachel Notle, a second-year art major.

“I think that it’s nice that all these clubs are trying to do fundraisers, but I think it’s frustrating because something that’s their personal cause like Sandy, does not necessarily mean it’s everyone else’s cause,” Nolte said. “As college students with not that much extra money, it’s kind of obnoxious to expect us to drop everything for their cause.”

Even though some students believe it is hard to donate in college, having a large organization like the cheerleading team helps to get the word out about funds needed, Saia said.

“We held this fundraiser because we understand how in need families are right now,” she said. “If we are able to assist anyone in any way, we want to.”