Region rallies to help Hurricane Sandy victims

November 2, 2012 10:15:16 AM PDT
Almost as soon as the water receded and the winds died down following Sandy, people from all over our area were asking how they could help.

In North Wales, the Keystone Fellowship Church was performing its Christian mission by preparing thousands of meals and delivering them to cold and hungry residents in that section of Montgomery County and Philadelphia.

Pastor John Hope, who has deep roots in Arkansas, got the Tyson Chicken company to donate 14,000 pounds of chicken for distribution to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Keystone Fellowship is also opening its doors and providing hot meals on the afternoon into the early evening. Youth church members, who have been off from school, have been a key part of the daily effort.

"I'd say it's in the Christian spirit to give back. Jesus helped us, so we help other people," said Mark Williams of the youth ministry.

"Our church is doing it so we, the youth, were asked to come out and help. So, we decided we'd take time to help others," said Keystone Fellowship member Macie Smith.

"I think it's great that the church family comes together and shares what we have, because we have electricity and some people don't, so we're able to bless others," said Nicole Sheely.

In Bristol Twp., Bucks County, the car lines are steady and long as residents from come for food and water at the senior citizens center.

It's now serving as a shelter for more than 40 people whose homes have become uninhabitable.

By the hundreds, people who have been without powers for days are coming in search of help.

"We lost everything. Food, milk, everything," said Dawn Digami of Bristol, Pa.

"Actually, I'm picking up for the whole street, I'm going to distribute for the street. Everyone else is without power," said Theresa Bidwell of Levittown.

The supplies have been provided by FEMA and delivered by the National Guard, dispensed as quickly as they are delivered from the storage depot at Fort Indiantown Gap.

"Last night around 9 o'clock the National Guard arrived with 18,000 bottles of water and 14,000 ready-to-eat meals," said Bristol Township Emergency Management Director Kevin Dippolito. "They're going quick. We just got another two truckloads of water and meals and we've requested some more.

Dozens of volunteers are devoting many hours to this relief effort, which is being coordinated by Salvation Army and The Red Cross. Most are retirees.

"They share so much of their sadness and their joy and what they're going through with all of the electric out and the flooding," said Richard Powers of Croydon.

"It's fulfilling. I'm grateful my power is back on, I have a home that's safe, I have running water, I have hot water and I have electricity. God is good," said Kathry Godin of Bristol.

Meanwhile, 6abc is joining with the American Red Cross to help our neighbors affected by Sandy.

On Friday, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., we will have a live telethon for those who would like to donate to the disaster relief fund.

Volunteers will be answering your calls - and no donation is too small.

Meanwhile, visit the website of the American Red Cross for more on how you can help.

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