Central Middle School Senators in Action Club will put their mission of community service to the test with a trip to New York City this weekend to help a family still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, which hit New York hard in late October.
It has been a month since Hurricane Sandy ravaged the states of New York and New Jersey, but there are still people struggling to recover from the super storm.
That was particularly evident to Central Middle School teacher Al Roach, a native of Brooklyn, when he traveled to New York City to survey the damage. There, he found a family who had lost just about everything it owned in 4 feet of water, yet was denied federal aid.
That gave Roach the idea to put the Senators In Action, a community service club at Central Middle School, to work, he said.
"I figured we'd try to help them out," said Roach, who serves as co-advisor of Senators in Action.
About seven students were being lined up to travel to New York on Saturday with Roach and reading teacher Joan Engel, the co-advisor for Senators in Action.
One of them is eighth grader Anthony "A.J." Salazar.
"Senators in Action is all about helping people and giving back to the community," Salazar said. "This just ties in because New York was devastated by the hurricane. We're going over there to help them out and help clean up. We're going to give them care packages with different things."
Those care packages include toiletries, other household goods, book bags, T-shirts and even a pair of sneakers donated by a Central student, Roach said.
As eighth grader Jaquan Dickson put it, the club was going to essentially "adopt a family."
Central Middle School Associate Principal David Thomas said the Senators in Action Club's trip to New York was a good example of the club's mission of service.
"This group under Mr. Roach and Ms. Engel has done a great job of arranging different service-based community projects," he said.
As of Thursday afternoon, Roach and Engel were still putting together a final list of club members going to New York.
"We are a humanitarian club and our goal is to help anyone in need," Engel said.
"Certainly, the people in New York qualify as people in need."