Devastation. Hunger. Illness. This is the daily struggle for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. It is impossible to imagine that our brothers and sisters just a few states north are faced with this mountain of hardship. Many are still without power and now they are battling snow on top of all the devastation. If you are like me, you look through photos with your mouth agape and squeeze your kids a little tighter. Maybe you are able to get up there and help with the effort. More likely, you are left in your own life feeling somewhat helpless.
There are so many organizations who are equipped to provide real comfort and help during times like this and for that I am so thankful. It gives those of us who are watching from a distance a way to get involved. We can donate money. We can spread the word via the internet. We can do something.
North Carolina based Samaritan’s Purse is a Christian organization that provides disaster assistance in practical ways. According to their website;
[Samaritan's Purse] responds to major storms throughout the United States by deploying Disaster Relief Units–tractor-trailers stocked with tools and equipment from our North Carolina headquarters. Our volunteers help homeowners by tarping wind-damaged roofs, removing unsalvageable belongings and cleaning out debris and muck from flooded homes, ripping up ruined flooring and stripping damaged sheetrock from walls, and spraying the exposed studs with a solution that kills mold. The works saves homeowners thousands of dollars and gives them a chance to rebuild.
Samaritan’s Purse is committed to helping people impacted by both storms from our bases at Linwood Community Church in Linwood, New Jersey; Vineyard Church in Teterboro; The Church of Grace and Peace in Toms River; and Vineyard Church in Nassau County, New York.
The rebuilding process is going to take a long time and a lot of hands-on effort. There are a few ways you can help. If you are local to any of the above areas and want to volunteer your time, please read about how you can assist the volunteer effort here. They need all levels of expertise as they will be cleaning up debris, digging out trees etc. If you want to donate funds to help, you can donate here. I will also have the donate button in my sidebar through the end of the year so feel free to give anytime!
When Raleigh was hit by an unusual string of tornadoes it was the local churches who took care of a large portion of need including digging trees out of our own yard. This is what we are here for as Christians. This is how we love our neighbors.
Finally, if you pray, there is no better help than constantly lifting up our friends, neighbors and country in constant prayer; while you drive, while you make dinner, while you fold laundry. That’s something we can all do. And it’s totally free.
Whatever you can do to help in this very difficult time, I know it will be welcomed with open arms.
*Photos used with permission from Samaritan’s Purse