Sandy Pastors Join Forces

Sarah Hoye (CNN)

Three weeks after Superstorm Sandy slammed the Northeast,
it's not just agencies like the Red Cross lending a helping hand.

Some pastors are also showing their support to people in the hardest hit areas.

It's thanks and giving for pastor Connie Hulla.  
More than two weeks after Superstorm Sandy ravaged the east coast … residents still need the goodwill of others. “As fast as it comes in, we give it out.”  

On the front lines of the relief efforts are churches providing aid to those most affected by the storm. Truckloads
of donations are arriving at places of worship like Pastor Connie's
Coney Island Gospel Assembly where residents are flocking to get their hands on much needed supplies.

The outpouring of support, alongside the constant flow of people … overwhelms Pastor Connie.

“It's
hard to see the people suffer. It's hard to see the children cold. It's
hard to see people who had what they needed to have to stand on a line.
And we try to do everything with dignity, because that could have been
me.” the Pastor said.

In the days after Sandy slammed New York City, two pastors
serving the neighborhood near the transformer explosion at a con-ed
plant in lower Manhattan quickly mobilized using social media to help
with hurricane relief.  

With their neighborhood back on its feet,
the pastors continue to mobilize volunteers and donations that keep
coming to serve the city's hardest hit areas.
“So what you're doing today, you are the hands of God.”

Harley-riding pastor Rick Del Rio who works with at-risk communities says he's touched by all of the help. “What
we saw was that the good in people responded. It was one of those times
like after 9/11 where everybody came together to help one another.”  

For
the areas where the storm never ends and where frustration is high. Pastor Guy Wasko from Trinity Grace Church in the East Village says to
keep the faith. 

“I would encourage the people to see that good
things are happening. That's why its so important for me to do my job,
and to steward these resources to other people because there's still
people stuck on the 23rd floor of high rise buildings and nobody's
coming to them,” said Wasko.  

Pastor Sharon “Sharo” Ramkhelawan at Hope Church in South Ozone Park, Queens is busy overseeing her warehouse
brimming with donations sent her way by Pastors Del Rio and Wasko. She says the faith community's response to Sandy is playing a major role helping residents pick up the pieces.
“I
can't stress enough the impact the church has had. You know, We've been
able to serve every community because in every community there is a
church. And there's a church that knows the need of the people. They're
not just there for today or two weeks, they have been there for years,
they will be there for years, even after everybody else, when the
government has pulled out, the church will still be there.”  

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