Local Mission Opportunities: Sandy Recovery Program

Local Mission Opportunities: Sandy Recovery Program


Since Super Storm Sandy swept through the area two years ago the New York Annual Conference Sandy Recovery program has been responsible for volunteer teams in Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Long Island, has just begun working in Queens, and is working with CT Rises to develop a structure for volunteers in Connecticut.

The Sandy Recovery Program has provided: 'muck and gut' and debris removal in the relief stage and repair/rebuild in the recovery phase. It has funded the purchase of building materials/supplies, provided direct assistance for family/home needs, as well as volunteer coordination, housing site coordination; and construction oversight. Behind the scenes efforts include assistance with Disaster Case Management, Disaster Spiritual and Emotional Care, plus UMCOR led trainings.

During the relief phase (11/2012 - 7/2013), we served 450 homes, and coordinated 15,088 volunteer hours. In the current recovery phase, (8/2013 to present), we have worked in 50 homes, and coordinated 15,328 volunteer hours.

Invite a Sandy Recovery Team member to speak at your church about the recovery and other ways to engage volunteers. Please contact:

  • Long Island: Peggy Racine 516-795-1322
  • Staten Island: Samantha Christian 347-252-7979
  • Brooklyn: Gillian Prince 718-594-7972

As Hurricane Sandy fades from memory, it becomes more difficult to maintain a consistent flow of volunteers. Other disasters draw the attention and resources of volunteers and teams. In response to this, the Sandy Recovery team has developed a new ministry with both the Presbyterian and the Universalist/Unitarian (U/U) Churches called 'Done in a Day' (DIAD). This program tries to encourage volunteers to serve on a more short-term basis and is attractive to those within the area of the (NYAC). DIAD has worked out well; the schedule was full through December.  It has become a significant part of our recovery effort.

An important sign of recovery in the communities devastated by Sandy were the six trucks and 11 city residents from the city of Long Beach that headed to Buffalo, NY after that city was pummeled by a record snow in November.  The Long Beach trucks helped to plow Buffalo's streets, and the travelers looked to help out in any way they could. They felt it was the least they could do after all the help Long Beach received during Sandy; many state troopers and regular residents from Buffalo came down to help in 2012.

Moving into 2015 the Sandy Recovery Program will continue to encourage and support volunteer efforts through our churches while maintaining its current level of commitment and services and creating new programs when needed.

Contributing to this article: Tom Vencuss and Channel 12 LI News November 22, 2014