On September 1, New York and New Jersey were hit with intense tropical storm Hurricane Ida and left in a state of shock and tragedy. Flash floods triggered by the historic downpour covered some communities in nearly 14 feet of water in a matter of minutes. Once the waters subsided, the devastation left countless families in desperate need of resources, shelter, and hope for a brighter tomorrow. Already burdened by the aftermath of a pandemic and economic uncertainty, the residents now had to face the crippling reality of losing everything they had ever worked for.
Church of God members set their hearts to deliver love and reassurance through disaster relief efforts after hearing about the aftermath of the hurricane. On Labor Day weekend, more than 300 volunteers from the Church of God helped residents in Mamaroneck, New York. The group cleaned homes, collected trash, separated storm-related debris like drywall and damaged furniture, and saved the items they could.
The effort is part of the church’s national efforts to support communities in times of emergency. “We are absolutely devastated to see our neighbors suffering so much,” said Rebecca Ebhardt, a Church of God volunteer. “In the Northeast, Hurricane Ida caused tremendous damage to an area that was flooded in a flash. Our hearts go out to our communities and we want them to know that the Church of God is here to support them. Despite the long holiday weekend, we felt spending our time helping others was the right thing to do.”
Local Leaders Express Their Gratitude for Church of God Volunteers’ Support
Mamaroneck’s local community leaders were astounded by the tremendous show of support on such short notice.
Jirandy Martinez, executive director of the Community Resource Center, said, “I’m in awe of how the World Mission Society Church of God was able to mobilize over 200 volunteers to come to Mamaroneck in less than 24 hours. It’s incredible support for families who have lost everything and have given all their strength to recover. So all of you coming out today is a real encouragement.”
Tom Murphy, Mayor of Mamaroneck, expressed his happiness with the Church of God. “I’m pleased with the volunteers who came to help the parts of the community that were hit the hardest. You guys are the vanguard of creating the kind of communities where everyone is equally cared for.” After meeting with the volunteers on Sunday, the Mayor sent an email blast encouraging residents to look for the green vests to ask for help or join disaster relief efforts on Labor Day. Residents in the community responded by volunteering with the Church of God.
Daniel Natchez, Village Trustee, said, “You have no idea what it means to the people of Mamaroneck. For you all to come all this way to help, in some places they had over 8 feet of water, and the residents lost everything. You are definitely giving people hope and my heart is filled with gratitude.”
Mamaroneck Residents Join the Disaster Relief Efforts
Residents of Mamaroneck were moved to tears by the bright disposition and eagerness to help. Throughout the event, they consistently stopped by the registration tent to request help and lend a helping hand. One resident exclaimed, “God’s timing is incredible. I was looking out the window, feeling overwhelmed, and I saw all these green vests walking toward me, knocking on my door asking if they could help. What you are all doing here is huge, you have no idea.” Another said, “Though you don’t know me, you came out and helped me in my time of need, and that means the world to me.”
Volunteers helped over 30 homes over two days. Moreover, they helped clear out the local community resource center of all storm-related debris and water-damaged materials. Church of God members strive to follow the example of Christ by helping their neighbors in times of need. To see other activities from Church of God volunteers, visit the activities page!