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Hurricane Aftermath

Churches come together for Sandy victims


Just days after Hurricane Sandy ravaged must of Long Island’s South Shore, Nassau County Episcopal churches began taking part in a relief effort that is still in full swing.

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Valley Stream and Trinity-St. John’s in Hewlett have joined forces to help those in need, and they even found some assistance in another state. On Monday, a party rental company from Massachusetts delivered a truckload of food and baby items to Trinity-St. John’s on Broadway, adding to the massive volume of items that had already been collected in the month since the storm.

Michael Linton, owner of Michael’s Party Rentals in Ludlow, Mass., organized a food drive there, partnering with area schools and churches. Items were collected during Thanksgiving week, and on Monday Linton made the four-hour drive to Hewlett, where 4,000 pounds of donations were unloaded and brought into the Trinity-St. John’s parish hall.

“I wish we could have filled the truck,” he said, noting that there were other, competing food drives for Hurricane Sandy victims. Still, he said, the box truck was at least half full for its journey to Long Island.

Linton explained that his business doesn’t have the financial resources to make a large donation, but he has a full-time event coordinator and available trucks. “We thought we could use those resources and do a lot more than we could financially do,” he said. “It was a lot more work than we anticipated but it was well worth it.”

The items will go to people affected by the storm, primarily in the Rockaways. The Rev. Owen Thompson, rector of Trinity-St. John’s, said that about 80 percent of his congregation is from that area.

It was the Venerable Brenda Overfield, rector of Holy Trinity in Valley Stream and arch deacon of Nassau County, who made the connection with Linton. Just days after the storm, Holy Trinity opened as a collection center for food, clothing and other items that people wanted to donate. At one point, Overfield said, half of the school gymnasium was full. Keeping track of the donations was difficult, she said, because as fast as they came in, they went right back out to the people in need.

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