Our congregation is actively involved in rebuilding the Shore after Superstorm Sandy. Work groups from across the country stay in our church. We send them out to help in the reconstruction work. If you or someone you know needs help in rebuilding, please call the church office. We want to help.
In October of 2012 Hurricane Sandy began its destructive path in the Caribbean and continued up the eastern coast of the US until it met with another storm and became “Superstorm Sandy”. Sandy left in its wake 71 dead in the Caribbean and 146 in the US. This has been rated the second most in US history, second only to Katrina in 2005. In New Jersey alone, 346,000 housing units were either damaged or destroyed. Sandy hit landfall in New Jersey on October 29, 2012. Three months after the storm, at least 3,500 families in New York and New Jersey were still living in hotels and motels. The poor were hardest hit. 43% of the households in New York and New Jersey that have filed for federal aid reported incomes under $30,000. Of those who hope to rebuild, many fear that they won’t be able to afford to build according to the new codes. There is much work to do! For instance, in one shore town (Ortley Beach) only 60 of the town’s 2,600 homes escaped damage. 200 were completely destroyed. Four months after the storm, 4,400 electric customers were still without power, and less then 100 of the town’s 1,200 full-time residents had returned home. (Information from the Asbury Park Press, Huffington Post and Reuters)
What is a Mission Group?
Mission Groups (Group or Groups) are made up of men and women representing various church congregations who volunteer to come to the Shore to offer their time, talent and skill to help in the clearing, restoration, and rebuilding efforts. Our Church can house 30 volunteer Group members at a time and ordinarily Groups will arrive on Sunday afternoon and leave on Saturday morning. If a Group is less than 30, another Group may be scheduled to share our facilities in order to bring the number closer to capacity. Group members must be 14 years of age or older
What do Mission Groups do?
There are several governmental and charitable organizations involved in recovery and restoration projects at the Shore. There is a great need for volunteer workers. Our Church communicates with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Ocean County Long Term Recovery Committee (OCLTR) to identify particular needs in the community and work sites for Groups. It is anticipated that Groups will be matched by these organizations with specific projects according to the tools and equipment the Group can bring with them, the skill level of the Group members, and the needs of the particular project site supported by the participating organization. The Group would then work on the identified project.
To begin the process to determine which charitable organization and which projects are best suited for the Group and to schedule the arrival and departure dates of Groups, any Group desiring to come to the Shore and utilize the Church’s hot site amenities set forth herein must first make contact with the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
So far, Morning Star has housed 23 Mission Groups, Groups from New Jersey south to Florida and as far west as Kentucky. As few as 4 members to large groups of 30 members.