VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 12/11/12)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) continues to respond to the needs of churches and individuals in American Baptist regions that were affected when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast on Oct. 29. The following information includes reports from regional offices to ABHMS’ Volunteer and Disaster Response Office.
American Baptist Churches of Connecticut reports minor to moderate flooding and wind damage at Calvary Baptist Church, South Norwalk; Putnam Baptist Church; First Baptist Church (FBC), Branford; and Silliman Memorial Baptist Church and FBC, both in Bridgeport. In addition, regional offices and the region camp also sustained damage. A $10,000 One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) emergency domestic grant has been released to the region.
American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts reports that two churches—Eglise Evangelique de l’Union Chretienne, Brockton, and FBC, New Bedford—sustained extensive roof damage. The release of OGHS funds is pending assessment.
American Baptist Churches of New Jersey (ABCNJ) reports that 50 churches have sustained damage, ranging from minor to major. Many churches have become mission stations, serving communities as supply distribution centers, food providers, shelters for the homeless and volunteers, and worship sites for damaged churches. ABCNJ has received $70,000 in OGHS emergency domestic disaster grants and has disbursed $64,128.69 to ministries, individuals and 34 congregations. Specifically, $37,775.95 is being used to assist church members and communities; $19,836.63 for facility repairs and damage; $4,550 for pastor relief and assistance; $1,902 for hosting groups and pastors from around the state; and $1,966.11 for Camp Lebanon.
The Metro New York region reports damage at Flemister House, Mariners’ Temple Baptist Church and Huntington Baptist Church. Assessment continues at other churches. Many churches are collecting donations for countless individuals affected by the hurricane. Assessments are pending from churches in Staten Island and other areas. In addition, the region is partnering with Church World Service to collect and distribute kits for babies, hygiene and schools. A $10,000 OGHS emergency domestic grant has been released to the region.
In addition, minor damage was reported in Rhode Island, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
While select volunteers have assisted, no national call for volunteers has been issued for lack of volunteer housing and ground support resources.
For information about where to send the following requested items, please contact ABHMS’ Kim Wilkins at 1-800-222-3872, x2413, or email@example.com:
- gallon Ziploc® bags;
- heavy-duty contractor-grade trash bags;
- bleach and other industrial cleaning supplies;
- sponges and buckets;
- toilet paper and paper towels;
- shovels and brooms;
- dust masks and work gloves;
- bubble wrap, packing tape and new empty boxes;
- hand sanitizer;
- cloth towels and washcloths;
- blankets, sheets and air mattresses;
- new underwear and socks for men, women and children; and
- gift cards from grocery stores—such as ShopRite, Acme and Foodtown—as well as from home-improvement and department stores, such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Sears, Walmart and Target.
In addition, financial support is needed to continue relief efforts. Approximately $12,000 in gifts has been received by OGHS for Hurricane Sandy relief.
Donations can be made to OGHS by visiting ABHMS’ website at www.abhms.org and clicking “Hurricane Sandy Relief GIVE NOW!” Checks can be given to your church or mailed to the attention of Kim Wilkins at American Baptist Home Mission Societies, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851. For more information, phone 1-800-222-3872, x2413, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To provide support for relief within the United States, please designate your support as “One Great Hour of Sharing—Hurricane Sandy.” One hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts; no dollars are retained for administrative costs.
A Hurricane Sandy-themed worship bulletin is available at no cost for your use at www.abhms.org > About Us > News Room > “Hurricane Sandy worship bulletin insert available for free download.”
American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.