This year's annual summer service project took members of the Bonner Leader AmeriCorps Program to Keansburg, NJ, where seven Bonner Leaders - along with four other Red Hawks - spent a week rebuilding the house of a local resident, which had been severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy last October.
The volunteers teamed up with A Future With Hope,
a local nonprofit organization that assists vulnerable or marginalized
populations affected by Hurricane Sandy in rebuilding their homes. They
installed drywall and spackle in four of the home's six rooms,
including a dining room, living room, bedroom, and hallway. The students divided themselves within these areas, working mornings and afternoons for seven days to complete the work.
"This trip is just one of the many service projects we participate in," says Bonner Leader Alexis Almeida. "It made a great impact on everyone who took the time to help."
By the end of the week, the home had been dry-walled and spackled -
and readied for the next group of volunteers to continue the lengthy
process of reconstruction. "There were times when the work was
difficult and the volunteers struggled," Alexis admits, "but...the
students really came out of their shells and learned firsthand how
important service is. Service trips like these inspire students to make
a difference in the world, and shows that positive changes can be