[Episcopal Relief & Development] Thanks to the generosity of Episcopalians from around the country, Episcopal Relief & Development is in the process of making emergency grants to impacted dioceses in support of parish-based relief activities following superstorm Sandy. In the United States, these funds will help congregations expand feeding ministries and facilitate the provision of shelter and transportation assistance for those in need. In the Caribbean, Episcopal Relief & Development support is helping to secure food, water and building materials for distribution in critically impacted areas.
Superstorm Sandy hit the Caribbean on Oct. 25 before turning north along the U.S. East Coast and making landfall in central New Jersey on Oct. 29, causing severe damage. At least 181 people were killed by the storm, including 110 in the United States. Episcopal Relief & Development has been working with leaders from the heavily impacted Episcopal dioceses of New York, Long Island, New Jersey, Newark and Connecticut to meet community needs. The organization also continues to support the Episcopal dioceses of Haiti and the Dominican Republic as they mobilize local resources and reach out to those hardest hit.
In New York and New Jersey, volunteers and donations of food, water and warm clothing made their way to areas of need over the weekend, though pockets of extreme devastation remain. Contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Hurricane Sandy Response Fund will help provide for basic needs, especially as people prepare for the Nor’easter predicted to hit the area on Nov. 7. Individuals who live near impacted areas may contact their local Episcopal diocese for ways to help, and those in the New York City area can visit NYC.gov to find ways to volunteer.
“On behalf of the staff of Episcopal Relief & Development, I extend my heartfelt thanks to our church partners and all those who have contributed to the relief effort so far,” said Rob Radtke, the organization’s President. “I especially want to thank those congregations who collected a special offering yesterday [Sunday, Nov. 4] for our Hurricane Sandy Response Fund, and all those who have been supporting us with prayers and messages of encouragement. We could not do this without you.”
Episcopal Relief & Development has made available a number of resources to help congregations and individuals support healing and recovery after Hurricane Sandy. Congregations are encouraged to download the “Sunday After a Disaster” and “Ministering to Children after Disaster” PDFs to support pastoral ministry, and a bulletin insert can be downloaded here for the latest updates on relief efforts, and please consider donating to the Hurricane Sandy Response Fund.