Samaritan’s Purse is aiding storm victims in New Jersey and New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy delivered more than dangerous winds, flooding, power outages, and destruction when it slammed into the Eastern Seaboard on Oct. 29. The deadly super storm—one of the biggest ever to hit the East Coast—also brought despair.
At least 113 people were reported dead in the dozen-plus states affected by the superstorm.
“It breaks your heart to see people’s lives just destroyed,” said Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham, who visited the area shortly after our teams began working. “We’re here to help them. We’re here in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes people look at this and think my whole world’s fallen apart, but God hasn’t forgotten them.”
Homeowners were faced with short-term challenges, such as fuel shortages and a lack of electricity. But even more daunting and discouraging was the long-term task of cleaning up their flooded and damaged houses.
Samaritan’s Purse responded to help these families by sending staff, equipment, and volunteers to three locations in New Jersey and one in New York. We initially established bases in Atlantic, Bergen, and Ocean Counties in New Jersey, as well as Nassau County in New York. By the end of November, we closed two of the sites in New Jersey and established another base in Monmouth County.
“Thank God for you guys,” said Nick Sanna, a homeowner in Toms River, N.J., “I was in despair until one of your guys knocked on the door.”
Volunteers are working in storm-damaged neighborhoods, helping homeowners by tarping wind-damaged roofs, removing unsalvageable belongings and cleaning out debris and muck from flooded homes, ripping up ruined flooring, stripping damaged sheetrock from walls, and spraying the exposed studs with a solution that kills mold.
The work, done cost-free, gives homeowners a chance to rebuild and recover.
“You were our first sign of hope,” said Judy Work, a homeowner we helped in New Jersey.
But the help goes far beyond physical labor. Our teams, working in the Name of Jesus alongside chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, are restoring hope.
“We’re reaching out to the homeowners who’ve been so devastated by this disaster,” said Tony McNeil, one of our program managers. “We want them to know that God loves them and He hasn’t forgotten them.”
In the first few weeks of our response, over 7,000 volunteers helped more than 700 homeowners. The number of volunteers keeps increasing and more families are receiving the help they so desperately need.
Many people are receiving more than just physical help. The chaplains report that more than 200 people have come to faith in Jesus Christ.
Samaritan’s Purse volunteers will continue helping victims throughout this difficult time. Please keep praying for God to comfort those who have lost their homes or loved ones during the storm, and that God will be glorified as our volunteers help in His name.