Snapshot of Xavier’s Sandy Cleanup

A photograph of Xavier High School students volunteering on the streets of Belle Harbor following Hurricane Sandy was included in “Rising Waters: Photographs of Sandy,” which opened Oct. 29 at the Museum of the City of New York.

Xavier High School Sandy photo submission

The multimedia exhibit features 200 photos from amateur and professional photographers who documented the 2012 storm, its tragic impact on New York City, along with cleanup and recovery efforts.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Xavier was one of several area Jesuit high schools that sent hundreds of students, staff and alumni to provide relief to families and neighbors in areas that included Breezy Point, the Rockaways and Staten Island. The photograph – taken by Mike Benigno, director of print and digital media for the New York Province of the Society of Jesus, formerly director of communications at Xavier – depicts student volunteers carrying cleanup supplies back to waiting school busses after a day of service.

“The image is one of hope that speaks to the sense of community created quickly by volunteers from Xavier and the many other organizations on the ground after the storm,” Mr. Benigno said. “Xavier students lost a lot; ninety-three were displaced from their homes either temporarily or permanently. Still, even some of those whose own homes suffered severe damage were eager to jump in and help others. It was all they could do, and their selflessness and compassion made a profound impact on storm victims in Belle Harbor and elsewhere.”

“Rising Waters: Photographs of Sandy” is on view until February 10, 2014. For more information, visit

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