ABHMS Calls for Volunteers to Help in New Jersey, Continues Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

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ABHMS Calls for Volunteers to Help in New Jersey, Continues Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

 VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 3/7/13)—In response to Hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast on Oct. 29, 2012, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) seeks volunteers for four 2013 work weeks to rebuild New Jersey. Co-sponsored by ABHMS and American Baptist Churches of New Jersey (ABCNJ), “Coming Together for New Jersey…Rebuild, Renew and Restore” will be held May 4-11, June 1-8, July 13-20, and Aug. 10-17.

For additional information and to register for “Coming Together for New Jersey…Rebuild, Renew and Restore,” visit www.abhms.org and click “Volunteer,” or contact Victoria Goff at vgoff@abhms.org or 1-800-222-3872, x2449.

ABHMS continues to respond in other ways to the needs of churches and individuals in American Baptist regions that were affected by Hurricane Sandy. As of Feb. 27, 2013, gifts received by One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) and designated to Hurricane Sandy were $388,590.15. Of that amount, $113,400 was disbursed as follows: $78,400 to New Jersey; $20,000 to Connecticut; $10,000 to Metro New York; and $5,000 to Philadelphia.

The following updates include reports from regional offices to ABHMS’ Volunteer and Disaster Response Office.

Of the $20,000 released to Connecticut, $10,000 was to provide additional assistance to Calvary Baptist Church, South Norwalk, and to the region’s Camp Wightman. Dr. Judy Allbee, regional executive minister, expresses gratitude for the generosity of so many and requests prayer for all affected in Connecticut, especially Calvary and Camp Wightman.

Metro New York

American Baptist Churches of Metro New York has used the $10,000 released by ABHMS for gift cards to enable displaced individuals to purchase groceries and material aid. Churches in the region have responded in various ways, including raising money for OGHS; preparing and delivering homemade meals; providing clothes, toys, blankets and humidifiers via community centers; gathering individuals for worship; and providing children and youth with Christmas gifts. In addition, churches created hygiene kits, baby kits and school kits and delivered them to those affected in Far Rockaway, N.Y. The region continues conversation with partners regarding ways to address ongoing needs, including the possibility of organizing volunteer clean-up and rebuilding efforts.

New Jersey

ABCNJ continues to provide assistance to affected communities and churches throughout the state, with several churches continuing to act as mission stations within their communities. As the region continues in its recovery, Dr. Lee Spitzer, regional executive minister, drafted a Regional Ministry Disaster/Crisis Plan that was unanimously approved during a recent ABCNJ Council Meeting. In addition, ABCNJ has appointed ABHMS volunteer Denise Gratzel as ABCNJ’s disaster response coordinator. As such, she is to advance the regional response and assist with a number of key regional initiatives.

Ongoing Financial Support

In addition, ongoing financial support is needed to continue American Baptist relief efforts. Donations can be made to OGHS by visiting ABHMS’ website at www.abhms.org, clicking the “GIVE NOW” button, and scrolling down to and clicking “Hurricane Sandy Relief.” Or 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 kwilkins@abhms.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.

Resource Available

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.