On Saturday, November 17th, 40 members of St. James The Less Episcopal Church in Scarsdale went to the New Dorp neighborhood on Staten Island to help residents whose lives had been affected by Hurricane Sandy. The volunteers from St. James The Less Church supported the efforts that a local church, The Movement Church, organized. The New Dorp neighborhood sits adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean just to the east of the Verrazano Bridge. The low lying neighborhood was inundated with waters from Sandy's storm surge. The waters flooded most of the homes and totaled many cars.
The St. James The Less volunteers helped homeowners remove water logged sheet rock and ruined appliances from their homes. Everyone was required to wear protective masks because the mold inside some of the homes posed health risks. The volunteers also cooked and served 320 lunches to residents, other volunteers and utility workers. Frank Schwall who helped organize the work day said "We were told that warm meals were needed so we brought our barbeque grills and cooked hamburgers and hot dogs. Our church was glad we could help out."
Among the 40 St. James The Less volunteers were 15 youth group members. The kids helped with the work crews and with serving lunch. Several of the kids expressed the sentiment that although Sandy had been tough on Scarsdale things were much worse on Staten Island.
Steven Martino, pastor of The Movement Church on Staten Island, told Father Tom Newcomb, rector of St. James The Less, that he was grateful for the physical and spiritual help the volunteers provided.
St. James The Less plans to continue to help out residents in New Dorp as the recovery effort continues.