Churches to reach out to those displaced by Sandy

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MIDDLE TOWNSHIP – Area churches are teaming up to adopt people displaced by Hurricane Sandy who are temporarily living in the Wildwood.

Dozens of people, many from the northern part of the state, are staying in hotels in Wildwood after the late October storm slammed New Jersey.

“That’s all this is – Cape May County coming together,” said Scott Durbin, who is the pastor of Cape Fellowship. The church meets at Middle Township Elementary School No. 2 in Cape May Court House.

During a meeting Saturday night at the First Baptist Church of Cape May in Cape May Court House, members from various churches in Cape May County discussed “adopting” people living at the hotels.

Organizers are hoping that each church can adopt 10 families. But the efforts aren’t limited to families.

“We will focus on wherever there is a need, be it an individual or a family,” said co-organizer Andrea Maher of Green Creek.

Michelle Bush of Wildwood Crest, one of the people heading up the relief efforts, said people’s basic needs are being fulfilled, and the American Red Cross is making sure they have meals.

But that’s where it ends, she said.

“They have nothing – literally nothing,” Bush said. “I still think they’re in shock.”

She called the displaced people “kind.”

“Most are extremely grateful for what they have,” Bush said.

Many of the people at Wildwood hotels have pets and children, she said.

Bush attends Cape Fellowship in Cape May Court House.

One of the suggestions for churches adopting families is checking in and seeing what the  families need.

Millions of items, including clothes, are being stored at the Tomwar Building at the Cape May Airport in Lower Township. Delivery trucks came from such places as Pennsylvania to bring supplies to the 15,000-square-foot building, Bush said.

Another idea is finding out the family’s children’s birthdays and putting on a celebration.

Maher said people could be invited to church events as well. She attends Cape Fellowship.

“This is really a heart thing,” she said.

Revolve Church pastor Bill Laky suggested empowering people, such as helping them find jobs. His church is at the Green Creek firehall in Middle Township.

Counseling displaced people living at the Wildwood hotels was another idea thrown out at the meeting.

People turned out for Nov. 10 meeting from Revolve Church of Green Creek, Cape Community Church of Cape May Court House, Tabernacle United Methodist Church of Erma, The First Baptist Church of Wildwood and Calvary Chapel Cape May, among other churches.

Churches have been asked to fill out a participation letter of commitment.

For more information, contact Bush at 609-849-8576 or Maher at 609-374-4553.


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