Remembering Sandy

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_DUB4731It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since super-storm Sandy hit the northeast.  In the face of the amazing devastation that the storm brought to the area, the United Methodist church has been a beacon of hope offering relief services to people who lost so much.  Yesterday the bishop of New Jersey issued a letter outlining these relief efforts, and what progress has been made so far.

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

One year ago, Superstorm Sandy rolled into New Jersey and the region and changed lives and the landscape forever. Today tens of thousands of homes are still in need of repair with many people still unable to return to their homes.

In the midst of this despair, we have offered hope, A Future with Hope. When people hurt, United Methodists help. I take this opportunity to thank all of our volunteers, donors, churches and staff who have provided healing and hope for thousands of people. Together, we set a five-year God-sized vision that included:

  • Repairing: 300-500 homes of low income, elderly and disable people.
  • Providing: case management for 500 families.
  • Recruiting: housing and deploying at least 15,000 volunteers to repair homes.
  • Repairing: churches and parsonages severely damaged by the storm.
  • Raising: $21 million.

We are now able to host more than 300 volunteers a week through 12 hosts sites. These host sites provide beds, food and showers. Already more than 5,900 volunteers from 23 states and three countries have logged more than 58,000 hours of relief and repair ministry. Immediately following the storm we fed, clothed and provided day and night shelter to more than 10,000 people.

So much good work can be done when people come together to help one another.  It is such an encouragement to learn of these efforts, and to know that God’s people are being faithful in myriad ways when faced with such great suffering.  More details of the Sandy recovery efforts, and how Methodists have been and can continue to be involved can be found at the UMC Connections blog.  And for those of you whose lives were touched by Sandy, know that our prayers and our efforts continue to be with you.

Caren Swanson

Image by United Methodist News Service, used with permission.

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About Caren Swanson

Caren is a former Wellness Advocate with Spirited Life who hails from a small town in the hills of NH, but currently lives in Durham, NC with her family. She enjoys growing, picking and arranging flowers, climbing the magnolia trees in Duke Gardens with her daughter Clara, and hosting potlucks with friends and neighbors.

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