Foundation Establishes 'Sandy Relief Fund'

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the Atlantic Cape Foundation established the Sandy Relief Fund for Atlantic Cape Students to collect emergency funds for students affected by the storm.

More than 1,900 Atlantic Cape students live on the barrier island communities assaulted by the storm on Oct. 29, 2012. Student evacuees returned to devastating conditions-wrecked homes and vehicles, and destroyed computer equipment, school supplies and textbooks.

The Sandy Relief Fund for Atlantic Cape Students aimed to provide assistance for students who needed to replace:

Sandy Relief Fund
  • Books
  • Computer equipment
  • Clothing
  • Food
  • And to cover commuting costs and other necessities.

"The Atlantic Cape Community College Foundation is grateful to all who can help our students who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy," Diane T. McKoy, Foundation president, said.

Ultimately, the effort raised about $40,000 and all of the 425 students who applied received some funding to help off-set the costs they incurred due to storm damage.

In their aid applications, students reported losing their books and laptops when they quickly evacuated in advance of the hurricane and of returning home to find their dwellings in low-lying areas uninhabitable. They had trouble getting to school because their cars were destroyed by tidal flooding and they couldn't afford bus transportation. In many cases, they lost income because their hours were eliminated or cut back in the local hospitality industry, itself suffering from the aftereffects of the storm.

"These applications are heartbreaking," said Patricia Gentile, executive director of the Foundation. "Students have suffered tremendous losses and we're working to ensure that they don't also lose their dream of a college education."

Donations included a $10,000 contribution from the Student Government Association.

Bryan Dufresne of Woodbine, SGA president, said: "We believe it's our Student Government mission to help the student body in any way they need to be helped. We feel this is the best way to help our peers who lost so much during the storm."

Several community colleges from around the country, as far as Portland, Ore., and as close as Sewell, contributed to the fund.

Gloucester County College donated $1,000 from their foundation toward financial help and brought six boxes of school supplies to further assist students impacted by Sandy. Foundation staff repacked the supplies into packets to distribute to the students.