More than two weeks after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast of the United States, many residents of the most heavily damaged parts of New York and New Jersey are still picking up the pieces.
“Hurricane Sandy is described as one of the largest storms to ever hit the United States, with more than 60 million people being impacted from North Carolina to Maine. The impacted area has experienced extensive power outages, business and school closures, and widespread transportation disruptions throughout 12 states. Thousands of homes and businesses have experienced severe flood and wind damage. There has also been extreme damage to roads, the power grid and other infrastructure.” – Stan Way
The massive devastation and loss of property and life from this “Superstorm” is impossible to calculate. So many people have completely lost their homes, while other houses have been severely damaged and are uninhabitable. Shelters are overcrowded. Lives have been disrupted. Futures are uncertain. Dreams have been dashed. Tens of thousands still remain without power. Others are returning to the mess and facing the daunting task of cleaning up, rebuilding and somehow moving on.
It isn’t a task for the faint of heart, nor can it be accomplished alone. But, despite the overwhelming odds and hard work ahead, hope is rising out of the ruins in the form of individual people joining together willing to change their plans, reach out, and give a helping hand.
Today I am sharing a short documentary which tells the story of one group of “Helping Hands” volunteers, and the impact they are making this week. I encourage you to join the effort either by physically volunteering to wear a “yellow vest” in your local neighborhood, or by donating to the cause online.
“I was in New Jersey last weekend and got to put on the yellow Mormon helping hands vest to join with 70 missionaries along the Jersey shoreline helping where we could. The Hurricane Sandy devastation was so much worse than I imagined. Catastrophe everywhere. One lady cried on my shoulder as she told of the massive flood that swept through her house leaving it desolate. She had paid with cash-in-full 6 months ago, and no insurance. Please watch this video. Share. Help!” – Alex Boyé
The Helping Hands program reflects the desire of Mormons to follow the example of Jesus Christ by serving others. The effort receives resources from Church humanitarian services, and the projects are coordinated by local Church leaders.
To help, go to:
- Mormon Helping Hands Cleaning Up After Sandy (mylifeinzion.com)
- Mormon Helping Hands mobilizes for storm-ravaged Rockaways and Broad Channel (NYDailyNews.com)
- Mormons help storm-damaged communities in N.Y., N.J. (WashingtonPost.com)
- Religious Groups Ready to help Staten Island after Hurricane Sandy (SILive.com)
- Aerial Pictures Show Hurricane Sandy’s Destruction (climatecentral.org)