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Relief effort benefits town hit by Sandy

Church sending supplies first

POSTED: November 26, 2012 12:31 a.m.

Families along the East Coast are still being affected by the damage caused last month during Superstorm Sandy, with some still out of power and many without a home.

Having helped out in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, members of the Christ the King Lutheran Church in Cumming’s outreach group decided to organize a food and clothing collection for Ocean City, N.J.

“There’s only so much one little church can do, but if we can get the whole community behind us, there’s a lot more that we can do,” said Jim Leeds, organizer.

The church will be a collection point for food, blankets, towels, cleaning supplies and clothing. The outreach group plans to send the first truck of supplies in early December, said Leeds, adding he hopes for many more to follow.

The collection will be donated to Ocean City Cleanup and Recovery Effort, or C.A.R.E.

Leeds said while many states are in need, New Jersey seemed like the obvious choice, since his father grew up on the state’s south end.

“The last thing we wanted to do was send money or food to dishonest people,” Leeds said. “We wanted to make sure we were dealing with reputable outfits and since I already had contacts in New Jersey that just seemed like a logical place to start.”

John Spencer, another member of the group, said the project “is a good way for a church to reach out not only to a local community and get it involved, but reach out to a national community when there’s definitely a need to be met.”

“We found out there was a need there and so we tried to figure out a way for us to be able to help,” Spencer said.

The collection is just the first part of the church’s assistance plan. During Katrina, the church sent members to help clean up and rebuild homes. The plan is to do the same in the wake of Sandy, Leeds said.

“We knew that the first need would be food and water and blankets and towels and cleaning supplies. Right now, it’s cleanup. It will be a while before they can start rebuilding,” he said.

“So what we’re trying to do is get as much as possible to tide them over before they can get to the next phase.”


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