The effects of Hurricane Sandy continue to dominate the headlines, yet it’s an encouraging sign to see the shifting focus from the long road ahead to the current progress being made, particularly on the local level.
At Lawrence Woodmere Academy (LWA), the storm and its devastation have left us with a new cognizance of the different ways we can help provide relief. This includes everything from collecting food, sundries and cleaning supplies during our Harvest Festival to setting up a Google document for families to offer support, as well as personally designed and written post cards by art students and Student Senate to LWA families affected by the storm.
Everyone has participated in some form of aid, especially in a community as small and close-knit as ours. After all, headmaster Alan Bernstein, who has led much of the relief efforts, frequently stresses the importance of group support in challenging times. “Who is the community?” he asks us. The answer is “Us. We are the community.” And as members of the community, each and every one of us has to do our part to give back. Giving back to the community doesn’t have to be back-breaking work. Most of the things people are doing to help do not require actual heavy lifting or a major time commitment. In fact, something as simple as handing out water bottles can make a real difference.
LWA senior Jeff Zhong experienced this first-hand when he went to volunteer at the Five Towns Community Center. Along with many other LWA students, Zhong helped unload trucks of water bottles to distribute to families in need. Although the task seemed trivial, at the end of the day he realized that for every water bottle he had lifted, he had been helping out a person in need.