This past weekend we held two Thanksgiving outreaches in New York City.
Saturday the event hosted near the Far Rockaways, an area that suffered much devastation from Sandy. The Somebody Cares network (SCA, SC Baltimore, SC York, SC San Antonio, SC Mobile Outreach, Compassion Acts, Blood-n-Fire Holy Smokes, New York City Christian Resource Center) partnered with Mercury One Hope NYC and area churches to provide 1250 hot Thanksgiving meals to people still suffering the effects of Sandy. In addition, at least 800 families received Thanksgiving groceries, a gift card to purchase a turkey as well as various coats, shoes and other items to help against the winter cold.
Sunday the event was held at Shore Road Park in Lindenhurst, Long Island, another community with extensive damage. It was a beautiful day to serve another 800 hot meals to community members who came for a sit down Thanksgiving meal and left with arms loaded with Thanksgiving groceries, gift cards, cleaning supplies, as well as other necessities like space heaters, diapers, blankets (crocheted by seniors), stuffed animals and more. The SC network and Mercury One partnered with Crisis Response International (CRI) and city officials for this Day of Hope which featured a Kid Zone with bounce houses and carnival games for area children as well as opportunity for homeowners to sign up for assistance with gutting and properly treated flooded homes through our partner CRI.
Over 250 volunteers from around the country and across NYC joined with us to make these Days of Hope a blessing to those who have suffered so much.
These tangible expressions of God’s love overwhelmed our guests of honor, and have given them help in taking another step toward rebuilding their lives. But the road to recovery will be long as many areas in NY and NJ have torn up infrastructures, burst gas lines, thousands of homes needing major repair or demolition. We need to keep these dear people in our prayers, continue to lift up the churches and organizations serving them, and consider what God would have each one of us do to help.
We heard several people say, “We just didn’t think something like this could happen here”. They were very grateful and incredulous that Somebody would come help them! Our partner Victim Relief Ministries, and other mental health professionals are already beginning to see signs of major stress, PTSD and other issues arising in affected communities. This will only get worse as the Holidays come and go, and life has not returned to normal. Somebody Cares, Victim Relief Ministries and New York Christian Resource Center are planning now to provide intervention services for first responders, care givers and Sandy victims who need new coping mechanisms to get through the next months and years.
Please consider donating today so we continue to help bring recovery to Sandy victims!