The last few days has been a world wind for those in the NJ/NY/CT/PA/MD area.  Some luckily are just dealing with loss of power and down trees while others are devastated and have lost everything they own.  It’s going to take a while for areas to be functional again but the outpouring of compassion and support has been overwhelming. In the mists of all that is happening here, one thing is apparent, people are helping each other and lifting each other up to get through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy (a.k.a Frankenstorm) hit landfall in the United States about 8 p.m. EDT Oct. 29, striking near Atlantic City, N.J., with winds of 80 mph. At one point, Sandy’s hurricane-force winds (at least 74 mph) extended up to 175 miles (280 kilometers) from its center.

Now in it’s wake, it was estimated that 8.4 million people were down without power and impacted $30 billion in damages.  NJ has sustained major damage in the shoreline beach areas and NY is dealing with major flooding from the storm serge and a crippled mass transit system that New York City relies upon to function.  “The New York City subway system is 108 years old, but it has never faced a disaster as devastating as last night,” said Joe Lhota, chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority on Oct 31,2012.

In the mist of all this, people are rising up to the call to help where they can.  The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and Red Cross are partnering up in setting up shelters, feeding stations and mobile kitchens to provide food to the thousands of people who are still dealing with the aftermath. A single feeding station is capable of serving tens of thousands of meals a day.

The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is one of the three largest mobilizers of trained disaster relief volunteers in the United States, along with the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.  They have mobilized more than 450 volunteers from nine Baptist state conventions working in at least six states affected by the storm.  They are also working with Red Cross to setup 8 additional feeding stations in the next few days in NJ and NY areas to provide food, aid and comfort to people in various areas. There is a lot of help needed to keep these feeding stations going so if anyone has capacity to help please become a volunteer.

Every little bit helps. If you would like to help, here are some options:

1. Become a Volunteer:

Many of us have a lot of time on our hands right now with the lack of power and volunteering is a great way to get your mind off our worries and be a blessing to others who really need help.

  • If you are close enough to the Piscataway, NJ or Edison, NJ areas, there are feeding stations that need help. Got to the NCMissions website to signup to volunteer or show up at 777 Hoes Lane West, Piscataway, NJ and sign in at the main tent.
  • If you are in the NY area, look at this site to help with volunteering sites or dropping off food and clothing.  (Occupy Wall Street, 350.org, recovers.org and interoccupy.net. are dedicated to implementing aid and establishing hubs for neighborhood resource distribution)

2. Donate Funds:

If you cannot help with volunteering but would like to donate to the disaster relief operations can contribute to NAMB’s disaster relief fund via namb.net/disaster-relief-donations. Other ways to donate are to call 1-866-407-NAMB (6262) or mail checks to NAMB, P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543. Designate checks for “Disaster Relief.”

3. Donate Food or Supplies to local shelters and soup kitchens: 

 

  • If you are in the Somerville, NJ area, there is a local organization that provides food to the homeless and near homeless families called SHIP – the Samaritan Homeless Interim Program.  With the power outages, they have lost a significant amount of food in their pantries and are in dire need to replenish their food  and clothing supplies.  They are also looking for some warm clothes especially hoodies and coats for Men, Women and children.

The response to the call for donations, funds and volunteers has been overwhelming.  Neighbors are helping neighbors and business are helping customers with charging their laptops/cellphones or providing warm meals.  Overall, the impact of Hurricane Sandy was disastrous for a lot of people but the outpouring of love and compassion of people to help each other has made this ordeal bearable and full of hope.
Be safe and stay warm to all.

~~Words of Encouragement~~
I look up to the mountains, does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
(Psalms 121 NTL)