From February 28 through March 3, two groups of Houghton students and alumni assisted in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in both N.Y. City and New Jersey.
A group of five left for New York City where they met up with an organization called “Poured Out.” Based in Jamaica, Queens, at the Hope NYC Church, Poured Out has been working since November 2012 to offer relief work to the devastated city; they have completed over 20 major projects, with most of their work done on Coney Island.
The majority of the work done by the students was the cleaning out of two churches and a private home that were devastated by flood waters which had reached over five feet and caused significant damage to all three facilities. The group stripped walls down to their brick foundation, sanded drywall, painted, and repaired ceilings. They also helped to organize relief donations.
“Seeing people so grateful for the help we were giving them for such a short time was a blessing for me,” said Hannah Lily. “I could have spent my break sitting … but instead I was able to be blessed and be a blessing to those still in need of help after being affected by the storm.”
According to Ruth Pocock, the team leader for Houghton College group in N.Y., everyone was “beyond appreciative” of the work done.
“Our team experienced not only the power of serving but the power of being served. When destruction hits, many people wonder where God is. We witnessed God this weekend; He is alive and uniting His children!” said Pocock.
Those attending the New York trip were Ruth Pocock and students Annelise Hein (‘13), Hannah Lily (‘14), Noah Alessi (‘11), Karita Stevens (‘14) and David Moore (‘16)
A second group of 12 Houghton students and alumni also offered their spring break as service through the Salvation Army Student Fellowship at the Wellsville Citadel Corps.
Headed by Captain David Means Jr. and Madam Captain Kristin Means of the Salvation Army, the group went to Toms River, New Jersey. The students were sent to work at the Hazlet Sandy Recovery Center and the Ortley Beach Sandy Recovery Center.
The students unloaded and organized supplies such as clothing, food and other necessities, in addition to assisting victims of Hurricane Sandy as they chose needed supplies.
Randall Smith ‘16 said of the experience, “We were... there to be salt and light to people who may not experience or know who Jesus Christ is and what He can do.”
New Jersey’s Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno also paid a visit to the recovery center while Houghton students were there helping with the relief efforts.
Houghton students and alumni attending the New Jersey trip were Matthew Jones ’04, Houghton graduate who is the youth pastor at the Salvation Army in Wellsville, Joseph Covey ’10, Adam Boynton ’13, Amanda Boynton ’13, Matthew Cannon ’16, James Hughes ’16, Randall Smith ’15, Corina Gochenauer ’13, Bryn Pearson ’15, Marcella Wheeler ’15, Brittany Peak ’16, and Heather Hart ’15.