Frontlines: NY & CT Sandy Recovery Updates - Jan 2016

Frontlines: NY & CT Sandy Recovery Updates - Jan 2016

Disaster Recovery Ministries Team



Message from Tom Vencuss, Sandy Disaster Recovery Coordinator:  New Year’s is always an interesting time. It is a time to both look backward and look forward – to what was, what is, and what can be. In many ways, that is where the NYAC Sandy Recovery Ministry is.

The past year brought us both celebrations and challenges. The celebration is the more than 100 families who were assisted in their recovery through volunteer rebuild, direct assistance, Disaster Case Management, and Spiritual and Emotional Care.

Looking Back…

We would like to thank teams from The Ohio State University, St. Anselm College, NH; Molloy College, Long Island, NY; West Haven, CT, New Paltz, NY, Williston, VT; New Milford, CT; Bristol, CT; Fairfield, CT, SUNY Geneseo, NY (this group of college students has come 3 times a year since the beginning); students from Maine; groups from Tiger, GA; Herndon, VA, York River District, VA; Hudson Valley, NY; Katonah, NY; Carlisle, PA; Baldwin UMC, NY; Non-traditionally Employed Women in Brooklyn, NY; Presbyterian Memorial, NY; Katonah, NY; Warwick, NY; NYC, NY; and Sterling, VA, among others - all of whom helped in this effort.

The challenges have been largely in the downsizing or grant-fulfillment and close-out of a number of major recovery organizations. This has put increased pressure on the remaining groups and agencies, such as the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church’s Sandy Recovery Ministry.

Looking Forward…
Our Sandy Recovery Ministry will be making some adjustments this coming year as well. What these changes will be have not been finalized but, in response to our own funding limits and the general decline in volunteer teams, we will be downsizing our program in June. However, it is our intent to receive and deploy volunteer teams through mid-September, 2016.  We will know more about what the situation will look like later in the year.

We are also limiting the size of teams for our Done-in-a-Day program to 8 people per day.  At this stage in our recovery, our issues regarding group sizes and makeup are:

1) We are at a place in the recovery where we feel it is difficult to open new project sites to accommodate very large groups for just one week or one day. As volunteerism has fallen off with newer disaster recoveries going on, we don’t want to have multiple families waiting for the next big group, so we now will have one or two sites open at a time. 
2) Our work now calls for more skilled help by those who can also do the sometimes heavy lifting involved.

If you are thinking of sending a team to the New York/Connecticut area this year, we appreciate your taking these factors into consideration.  It also would be best to take advantage of the spring/summer rebuild season while both we, and several other organizations, are still at full capacity.

To volunteer for a weekend, a week, or in our Done-in-a-Day program (if you live close enough to come work for a day then sleep at home), contact our volunteer coordinator at  or call 203-470-1539. 

Homeowners are waiting, worrying and losing hope.  You can rekindle that hope, as so many of you have in the past.  We are so grateful for the many who are sharing their time and talents!!   Won’t you consider another trip?