Hurricane Sandy caused great devastation when it slammed the East Coast by surprise on October 29th. The destructive power of Sandy was far beyond imagination. Trees were uprooted, cars and even boats were scattered around the streets. Subway stations and low-lying neighborhoods were flooded. Millions of homes and office buildings were left without power for weeks and dozens of people even lost their lives. Disaster relief efforts were greatly needed in the midst of such a disaster.
This havoc did not prevent nearly 200 volunteers from the World Mission Society Church of God from taking immediate action. Volunteers took the lead in the restoration efforts, cleaning the streets of Ridgewood and Hoboken in New Jersey, and the severely damaged coastal areas of Breezy Point and Staten Island in New York.
Volunteers patiently went door to door in each community to help families, and especially the elderly. They pumped out flooded basements, cleaned out sewage, and tore down damaged drywalls. They did not hesitate even for a moment to get their hands dirty to recover the little that was left of people’s memories – pictures, trophies, books and the like.
A week after the storm, members from the Church of God in Washington, DC drove eight hours and more than 500 members from the churches in the tri-state area headed to Toms River in New Jersey. News12 New Jersey described them as an “army wearing green vests” when seen walking through the town.
Billy Gallagher of the New York City Fire Department was moved by the volunteers’ commitment and said, “Actually, we are the ones who should help people who suffer from something terrible like this, but now we need your help. Heavenly Mother, thank You so much!”
The volunteers also set up tents in Breezy Point to distribute canned foods, personal care products, clothes, and most importantly, the love and concern of Heavenly Mother.