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Students band together for Sandy relief

    Staten Island, N.Y. was one of communities hardest hit last week by Hurricane Sandy.
    To address the acute needs of those who suffered most in their community, students at Staten Island’s Wagner College have formed an organization to focus their volunteer energies in the most productive way possible.
    Wagner Cares was the brainchild of two Student Government Association officers, President Greg Balaes of Point Pleasant, N.J., and Kate Schaefer, vice president of community service, a native of suburban Salt Lake City.
    Using a website,, the group registers students interested in helping, lists opportunities for volunteer work in the community, and takes in both monetary donations and critical relief supplies. Transportation is provided for groups of students to work sites. All money given to the effort goes into an account managed by the Wagner College Business Office, and donations are tax deductible.
    Wagner Cares sent student work crews into the heavily damaged Midland Beach community last weekend and several times this week, working with existing relief agencies to help where help is needed most.
    Wagner Cares has the full support of the college’s president, Richard Guarasci, who authorized an initial contribution of $5,000 to the group as seed money. Wagner’s vice president for administration, David Martin, is providing operational support.
    For more about Wagner Cares, or to make a donation, visit the group’s website at

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