The Mount responds to local, national needs

November 05, 2013

Newburgh, NY -

Professor Lawrence Force’s class

Psychology professor Lawrence Force’s class recently donated more than $300 to aid Colorado flood victims. Photo by Sara Baloga.

It’s nearly Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t take a holiday to spark Mount Saint Mary College students’ generosity.

When Colorado was slammed by massive flooding early this semester, all it took was a text message from Mount alumna Alanna Cappello ’12 to get students fired up in psychology professor Lawrence Force’s social casework class.

“I can't believe what the people in Colorado are going through,” said Cappello. “What can we do for them to help?”

In less than a week, the class gathered more than $300 for food and water donations.

Patricia HarbinIn a previous effort spearheaded by Force’s students, the Mount amassed and donated around 2,200 pairs of new socks to those struggling in Hurricane Sandy’s wake; and a shoe drive sponsored by the Mount’s campus ministry collected more than dozens of pairs of shoes.

When communities are in need, explained Force, “The Mount responds.”

The MSMC Serves initiative, campus ministry’s service learning and community outreach program with campus-wide participation, has been highly successful since its inception this year. Students recently collected more than 75 coats, sweaters, and jackets, as well as dozens of hats, mittens, and scarves, to be given to Newburgh Ministry, a local charitable organization.

Right: Newburgh resident Patricia Harbin ‘13, who studied English and human services at Mount Saint Mary College, delivered more than two dozen shoes collected by students to the Church of God by Faith in Newburgh, NY.

“Newburgh Ministry was thrilled to receive the bags full of winter items our community was able to provide,” explained Alexander J. LaPoint, assistant director of campus ministry.

Last Thanksgiving, Mount students provided more than 500 pounds of food for Newburgh’s Loaves and Fishes program, feeding hundreds. This year, said LaPoint, students are hoping to exceed their past generosity – and the public is invited to help.

Campus ministry is seeking donations of instant mashed potatoes; stuffing mix; canned vegetables, black beans, fruit, gravy, sweet potatoes and yams; and bagged rice. Food items can be dropped off though November 22 between 9 am and 5 pm at campus ministry, in Hudson Hall, 330 Powell Avenue, Newburgh, NY.

More than 50 percent of Mount students engage in community service as part of their coursework, or through club or team participation.

“At Mount Saint Mary College, according to our mission, we are to educate the whole person,” said Fr. Francis Amodio, O.Carm, Mount chaplain and director of campus ministry. “When they graduate from the Mount, service will be a value which they would naturally share in their communities.”

MSMC Serves coat drive

Left to right: Brandon Annabel, a senior biology student on the pre-med track from Kingston, NY, who spearheaded the recent MSMC Serves coat drive; Sr. Norma Carney, PBVM of Newburgh Ministry; and Alexander J. LaPoint, assistant director of the Mount’s campus ministry