On October 30th, last year, just one day after Hurricane Sandy made landfall on New York City’s coast, the congregations of Resurrection Brooklyn began serving their storm-affected neighbors. As the reality began to set in of how long recovery from Sandy was going to take, Resurrection Brooklyn Relief was formed as a concerted effort among our congregations. The mission of RB Relief is to serve survivors of Hurricane Sandy in rebuilding and relocation efforts in coastal south Brooklyn neighborhoods, by acting as a conduit of materials and coordinated volunteer resources.
Nobody had time to track the hundreds of hours our volunteers labored those first crazy weeks, but since November 10th 2012, Resurrection Brooklyn Relief’s staff and volunteers have:
Facilitated 895 volunteers — providing around 5,300 hours worth of service
Assisted 10 families with relocation from temporary shelter to permanent housing.
Assisted in the muck out, gut out, mold remediation, and rebuild of 19 homes and one small business.
Supported ministries and churches who have been living and loving these neighborhoods long before we have.
In this last category, Resurrection Brooklyn Relief was able to supply a storage container to Coney Island Tabernacle Church which still provides food for their storm-affected neighbors, as they have been doing ever since Sandy, even while they were shoveling out the ruined contents of their own sanctuary. The church is a recognized NYC Food Bank member, which really means something in the city’s low-income neighborhoods. Coney Island Gospel Assembly, long a hub of services to its neighbors, graciously allowed us to park a mobile office trailer outside their building and provided numerous other resources so Brooklyn Jubilee could meet with clients five days a week, asking nothing in return as they themselves fought to rebuild as flood waters had destroyed everything in their basement. Brooklyn Jubilee, whose staff and volunteers have so far helped Sandy families recover or save over $205,000, has been our main partner.
All of this would not have been possible without the generous support of so many of you around the country. Your gifts allowed us to hire Caleb Keane and Richard Vernon, to facilitate connecting volunteers to families and keep us partnered to the greater recovery effort in Brooklyn and NYC. Your donations rented us a house in Sheepshead Bay so we could house out-of-state volunteers., provided electricity and heat for the trailer in Coney Island so Brooklyn Jubilee could counsel survivors, purchased personal protective equipment and tools for volunteers. Insulation, sub flooring, and drywall for homeowners were all purchased with your graciously sacrificed dollars. Moving vans and security deposits to relocate survivors, dumpsters when the city no longer could provide them, food, blankets, heaters… the list goes on and on, and none of it would have been possible without you. For your prayers and support, Resurrection Brooklyn Relief thanks you for your faithfulness and generosity.
At the anniversary of Sandy, we still have 20 homes on our referral list waiting for rebuild assistance, and we know the need is far greater than that. Stay connected to our efforts through our website, Facebook, and Twitter. Ask your church or organization to consider sending a volunteer team. Most of all, continue to pray for Brooklyn and all those areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.