Rays of hope

In the wake of the early-September flood that devastated much of the region, groups of Lycoming College students have been lending their time, hands and hearts to assist area families and agencies in relief efforts.

On Saturday, Sept. 10, Allen Kiessling and his family were knee-deep in the long clean-up process at his parents’ home on the outskirts of Williamsport along the Loyalsock Creek. Like so many of their neighbors, his parents lost virtually everything.

“As our family was contemplating ending our efforts for the day, a few rays of hope showed up in the midst of the mud and tears,” said Kiessling. “From the end of the driveway, we heard someone yell, ‘Can we help you?’”

The offer came from Lycoming students Mike Kane, Quentin Reinford, Samara Santos, Ethan Sellers and Greg Vartan, and student life coordinator Brittany Tasch.

“They stayed for hours and got so much done,” Kiessling continued. “Not once did any of them complain about the dirty work ahead of them and when offered a ‘thank you,’ they simply replied, ‘No, thank you for letting us help you.’”

Thanks to the generosity of the five Lycoming students, according to Kiessling, his family now has hope and optimism that better days are ahead.

“The effect [the students] had on me and my family, even in the relatively brief amount of time we spent together, has been profound,” said Kiessling. “The Lycoming College family should be proud of their hard work and altruism in helping families like mine get through this incredibly difficult time.”

With assistance from the College’s Community Service Center, many other individuals, groups and organizations from Lycoming have been volunteering since the disaster struck. In addition, the College’s Chapter of Circle K collected items ranging from canned goods to cleaning supplies to donate to families in need.

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