Ever since Hurricane Sandy slammed into the Jersey Shore on October 29, 2012, the Point Pleasant Presbyterian Church has been at the forefront of recovery efforts. A video produced for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance tells the story:

Our involvement began immediately, as we joined other churches in the community in short-term relief work.  Beginning  in the days before electrical power was restored and continuing for some weeks afterwards, volunteers used the gas range in the church kitchen to cook and serve thousands of free meals for local residents, both in our church hall and in that of St. Mary’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church across the street. We collected and distributed cleanup supplies and useful items such as plastic bins and boxes for packing up and storing household goods. We provided supportive counseling services, distributed gift cards for building supplies and personal items, and met a multitude of practical needs.

pda_logoAs the community has moved from short-term to long-term recovery, we have created partnerships with the Lend A Hand mission of Carlisle Presbytery in Central Pennsylvania and with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), the national disaster-recovery agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  The Great Hall of the church’s Education Annex has been converted into a dormitory-style housing facility for up to 36 volunteer recovery workers, who are being deployed for one week at a time in communities up and down the Jersey Shore, helping residents with housing renovations and repairs. PDA has designated our hospitality facility as a Volunteer Village, the first in New Jersey. The PDA National Call Center is handling all bookings for groups using the facility. We are committed to continuing this ministry in the long term, as rebuilding work continues in future years.

The church is one of the founding organizations of the Ocean County Long Term Recovery Group, the official FEMA-recognized coalition of charitable organizations involved in long-term recovery work. Deacon Peter Farwell, who chairs the church’s Hurricane Sandy Recovery Team, is also Director of Volunteer Management for the Long Term Recovery Group.

In partnership with these other local churches and organizations, Point Pleasant Presbyterian is committed to restoring the Shore. We invite you to join us in this mission.

HURRICANE SANDY RECOVERY CONTACTS
Peter Farwell
(908-675-7287)
is serving as our church’s Hurricane Recovery Coordinator.

Frank Jones
(732) 580-1857
is coordinating the Volunteer Village.

Howard Gilbert
(732) 773-2161
serves as liaison between the work teams and the local agencies doing construction management.

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Special thanks to the Robin Hood Foundation and to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund, both of which provided important financial grants that helped us get the Volunteer Village up and running.