Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Verrazano Student is a Volunteer All-Star!

Angela Dauge, Verrazano Class of 2014, volunteers regularly at Project Homefront and has logged over 150 hours since last year.  Below she shares more about her experience with the organization and how others can get involved.

Staten Island Project Home front (SIPH) is an organization I stumbled upon through a friend while I was looking for different volunteer activities to participate in. It is a non-for-profit organization that collects donations, packs boxes of supplies and ships them every 6 weeks to servicemen and women from Staten Island, New York, or close to New York who are deployed overseas. SIPH collects donations in any form, such as monetary donations or items to send in packages, and it is all tax deductible.

Jack Semich (Executive Director), Angela Dauge (Verrazano volunteer),
Debbie Parsons (Packing and Shipping Committee Chair)

A typical day at Project Home front sometimes consists of organizing paperwork, whether it is letters that are being sent in the boxes or putting together flyers for the organization. Besides paperwork, a big part of the volunteer experience is making care packages for deployed military personnel overseas. Care packages consists of snacks, drinks, sanitary products, shirts, activities (games, puzzle books, magazines), and whatever else is requested. On each day I go to volunteer I am surrounded by caring people who dedicate their time to help others. The environment couldn’t be friendlier or more welcoming than it already is.

Staten Island Project Home front is always looking for community service volunteers to help out, either on a regular day, or during their specialized packing and shipping days. Even after fulfilling my community service requirement I still return at least once a week for the fun of it, and it’s always a great feeling to know you’re doing something that helps others.

There are many reasons I decided to stick with Project Home front as opposed to other community service projects. Being a child of a military veteran, I’ve always been interested in helping out service members anyway I could. After everything they do on a daily basis, they deserve much more recognition and appreciation than they are receiving (such as being denied a parade after coming home from almost a decade long war, yet a football team who won a Super-bowl were given a parade within 48 hours). I feel every little bit of assistance they can receive helps. Many soldiers overseas don’t have a family at home sending them packages or letting them know that they care, so it’s nice to know that the seemingly little bit of time I take out of my day can make a difference. After volunteering there for a few months and reading some of the letters sent back from overseas, I’ve realized what a difference a simple package makes. Sometimes I realize how much we take for granted here, especially when realizing the gratitude expressed by complete strangers for taking the time out to send simple products that they miss such as their favorite snacks, drinks, etc. Every little bit always helps.

If anyone is interested in volunteering and receiving community service hours, the hours of operation for SIPH are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 9am until 1pm.  They are located in the basement of the Moravian Church, 2205 Richmond Road, Staten Island, New York.  Any donations of goods for care packages can be dropped off at that address, and any monetary donations can be sent in check form to:

Staten Island Project Homefront
471 Bement Avenue
Staten Island, New York, 10310

Their website is You can find a list of needed items as well as packing and shipping dates for the 2012 year. A list of events they are taking part in is also listed on the website.

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