12-5-2012 - Thanksgiving in the Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy
Greater New York Conference Adventist Community Services Thanksgiving Day Report
Thanksgiving Day came several weeks after the massive damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in New York. While most Americans were preparing for the holiday, many people from Far Rockaway, N.Y. struggled to feel normal again. In an effort to spread holiday cheer and comfort the Greater New York Adventist Community Services (GNYC ACS) organized a special Thanksgiving Day outreach for hurricane victims in Far Rockaway.
GNYC volunteers from Westchester Korean, Old Westbury, Queens Korean, Spanish Fort Washington, French Bethsaida, and Co-Op City Seventh-day Adventists Churches volunteered their time on this holiday to serve the community. Teams from all over the country also joined in their efforts. They came from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Virginia, and California to help. It was amazing to see God’s people join together in His name to bring relief to the community.
The day was started by loading vans and trucks with supplies which headed out to seven distribution points in Far Rockaway. Nonperishable food items were generously donated by the Boy Scouts of America, and about 1,200 warm blankets were prepared for distribution. Hot food stations were set up by several GNYC churches to give the victims of the hurricane a good “Thanksgiving style” meal, and over 2,500 meals were given out. GNYC President G. Earl Knight joined the ACS team in the distribution of heaters to give the community people some much needed warmth. Hearts were also warmed by greeting cards handmade by students of GNYC Adventist schools that were distributed. Teams from Westchester Korean Church even helped to clean out a playground so that children could have a place to relax and play.
“The entire ACS team worked hard to bring joy and comfort in a difficult time,” said Ruben Merino, GNYC ACS DR director. “As we remember our community through service through this difficult time, please remember us and continue to support us.“