Amid the Election Day bustle and concerns over the approach of another storm toward the mid-Atlantic states, hundreds of thousands in the hard-hit regions in New York and New Jersey were still seeking relief in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.
On Tuesday, classes at The King’s College (TKC) in New York City resumed, but the school’s heating system and phone system were still down.
“We still have issues with which we need to deal,” reported Interim President Andy Mills on Tuesday.
“A few of our people, who live independently, are still unable to use their apartments, but they are all housed with other members of the King’s community. Finally, many staff and faculty members are making very long commutes,” Mills added. “It took me four and a half hours to get to Campus from Boston yesterday morning – some of our faculty had longer commutes from New Jersey!”
According to Mills, the school expects every day will get better as more services are restored and as people figure out more efficient ways to commute, but he says it is still tough on them.
“Please be in prayer for these items, as well as for the College in general as we finish the semester. Know that we have felt lifted by prayer and that Jesus has been our companion through the toughest times,” he reported.
Meanwhile, relief groups have been working non-stop to bring relief and support to those in areas hit last week by flooding, power outages and heavy snowfall.
Disaster response teams from the international Christian relief and evangelism organization Samaritan's Purse have been working closely with local churches to offer assistance and encouragement to devastated communities. Hundreds of volunteers are putting tarps on roofs, cutting fallen trees, cleaning debris and removing mud and water from flooded homes. Relief efforts are focused on those who are least able to help themselves – including the poor, elderly and uninsured.
"We are here offering our prayers and our helping hands for the victims of this ferocious storm," said Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham, who visited storm survivors in Ocean County, NJ, on Saturday. "The destruction is overwhelming, and the people desperately need our help. They need our prayers, and they need our support."
Meanwhile, with temperatures dropping and the threat of the wintry nor'easter storm, World Vision has been focused on providing immediate cold weather supplies to displaced storm survivors struggling to stay warm.
In partnership with local churches, World Vision is distributing relief items, including blankets, winter clothing, and emergency food supplies to families and children in several areas of New York City.
“It is a race against the clock. People are freezing, children are getting sick, and families need cold weather supplies right away,” reported Phyllis Freeman, World Vision’s Domestic Disaster Response Director. “Our relief teams are moving as fast as we can.”
In addition to praying, Christians across the nation are still being urged to financially support the relief efforts of organizations on the ground.
"Our response to this storm is critically dependent upon the generosity of the American public and the corporate and private donors who choose to support us," explained Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army. “We thank them for their generosity and pray that we will be able to meet all the widespread needs.”
World Vision anticipates that its relief and recovery operations in devastated communities will continue for up to three years and is preparing a long-term disaster response targeting families that need assistance rebuilding their homes.
As the response progresses beyond the emergency phase, World Vision will supply building products such as insulation, siding, and roofing materials to repair homes and community buildings.
World Vision’s Freeman said that beyond immediate relief needs, concerned Americans can also assist with the provision of backpacks and school supplies for children to return to class. She added that World Vision could even provide toys for Christmas through the generosity of corporate donors.
“Many suffering families will not be able to afford Christmas [gifts] now,” she noted.
According to reports on Wednesday, more than 423,000 are still without power in New Jersey and more than 66,000 are without power in New York City.
PHOTOS ABOVE: (1) Samaritan's Purse volunteers praying for Hurricane Sandy victims. (2) World Vision volunteers handing out blankets and other supplies to victims of the storm.
Published: November 8, 2012