Blazers Face Irene

What I am about to write about has nothing to do with basketball. It does however have a lot to do with what Siena College is all about.   Yesterday my family went through the process of moving my daughter into Siena and as we attended the various activities that were designed to welcome the new students to the Siena community, I was reminded of the value that the school places on helping others which I saw first hand as a student myself. As I reflected on this I hoped that my daughter would actively be a part of this herself during her time at Siena and beyond. Perhaps she would follow in the footsteps of her older sister who had the opportunity to go to New Orleans as part of a group with Habitat For Humanity which made us so proud. Or maybe she would find other ways to help those less fortunate.

Ironically, when we returned home I was contacted by a coworker, also known here as guy #1 to see if I was interested in being a part of a group of volunteers which would go in the morning to assist those affected by the flooding which followed Hurricane/ Tropical Storm Irene in the Schoharie valley. I knew very quickly that with the inspiration I had experienced at Siena I needed to take action. So after the parents breakfast this morning I headed out to do just that.

What myself and fellow blazers along with some other very special people experienced seems impossible to describe.  To see the devastation and feel the sense of helplessness is almost too much to bear.  We spent the day as a crew going house to house ripping out walls and removing debris in a race against time to try to help to save what is left of these people’s homes. We met some outstanding individuals who have for days spent their time helping neighbors, friends, and strangers attempt to tackle this seemingly impossible task.

Bill, who had trees fall in his yard during the storm, said that he felt petty for having stressed about the damage to his yard after witnessing the suffering the people of Schoharie were experiencing. This is only one of dozens of communities around the Capital District that were simply devastated by this storm. The task at hand is monumental, but between the stench of mud and diesel and mountains of what were once people’s lives, there is a sense of hope that could be felt. We ate lunch with complete strangers who embraced us as family for those few hours we spent with them. A note written on a dust covered van said it best, “There is love”.

What we did today was like pulling a blade of grass out of an endless field and, while we plan to return and do what we can, I truly hope and pray that others are called and find a way to help as well.  For those that are not able to go to help with the clean up, it is my wish that they will make a donation, send supplies, or simply say a prayer. It is all needed and is what Siena is all about.


  1. Anonymous

    September 3, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Nice job guys. I'm certain everyone appreciates your concern and assistance!

  2. Anonymous

    September 3, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    Siena has always supported the local communities. It's great to see that you guys have taken it upon yourselves to do the same. Good work.

  3. Anonymous

    September 4, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Very nice article and it is great you were able to be involved…..we take so much for granted.

  4. Pingback: Saints Help Schoharie | 4GuysinBlazers Siena Saints Fan Blog

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