The United Methodist Church relief arm on Wednesday called for donations to help those people in Hurricane Sandy's path, and said it had issued several ten-thousand dollar grants to church conferences along the U.S. east coast to help with recovery efforts.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief said Tuesday it had issued the grants to the denomination's Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, Greater New Jersey Conference, New York Conference, New York Disaster Interfaith Services, and the North Carolina Conference.
Carol Brozosky, an Early Response Team Leader in New Jersey for United Methodist Committee on Relief, summarized some of the damage in the region, and said many evacuees were still out of their homes.
"The barrier islands are just completely destroyed," she said in an article published on UMCOR's website on Wednesday, "and across the state, the damage is so severe and so spread out that it's difficult at this point to name the worst-hit communities. But clearly the coastal towns really bore the brunt."
Joseph Ewoodzie, a disaster response coordinator with the denomination's New York Conference told UMCOR that the number of communities severely affected by the hurricane are being tallied and the number has been rising.
"Long Island has been devastated," he said. "In Connecticut, Fairfield and Bridgeport were hit really hard. People are rowing boats down the streets."
Ewoodzie expected that the response would eventually take much longer than the immediate needs.
"The real ministry awaits us in the months, and even years, to come," he said. "Let us stay with the affected people until they recover. Let them feel confident that we will stay with them until they make a healthy, holistic recovery."
The report said that while the U.S. deals with the effects of Sandy, Haiti and other Caribbean countries affected were struggling to recover.
UMCOR says that because the organization's support and emphasis on disaster preparedness, its response in Haiti was strengthened. Fifty-one people died in the Caribbean nation as a result of the Hurricane.
"I think organizations based in heavily affected areas were able to respond with what they had on hand-which is good news that preparedness planning is helping to mitigate some of the storm effects," she said.
The needs in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and Jamaica are "serious and ongoing," the group said.
UMCOR provided a link to its donation page on its website (http://www.umcor.org) that sets aside donations specifically for hurricane support this year.
Click here to access the organization's site.