Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 3:30pm

Within days of each other, two catastrophes caused lives to be irrevocably altered when Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico and an earthquake in Mexico City caused untold devastation. In the Bronx, as in communities all over the world, citizens rallied behind community leaders to gather donations to help the disaster victims.

The New York Hispanic Clergy Organization organized a food and supplies drive, directing volunteers as they helped pack and move hundreds of thousands of pounds of goods to support relief efforts for Puerto Rico and Mexico.

Mercy College did its part, with members of the Educational Leadership Department collecting $700 for aid to Puerto Rico. Volunteers at the September 30 event rubbed shoulders with community leaders, including Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., State Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz, New York State Assembly Members Marcos Crespo and Luis Sepulveda, and City Council Member Rafael Salamanca. Dr. Rose Rudnitski, Dean and Professor of Education at Mercy College, remarked, โ€œWe are working diligently to strengthen our relationships in the Bronx. Doing our part to help disaster victims was a very satisfying way to achieve that goal.โ€