Disaster Relief Team Travels from Minnesota to Assist in Sandy Recovery

St. Philips Disaster Relief Ministry from Fridley, MN traveled to New Jersey this week to help with Sandy recovery efforts. Coordinated by Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey (LSMNJ), in partnership with A Future with Hope, 33 volunteers are spending their days from May 4-10, helping to rebuild people’s homes and lives affected by disaster.

This is a special trip for the St. Philips Disaster Relief team, marking their 50th trip since the group started traveling the country, eight years ago, to assist with disaster recovery.

“We are so grateful that the team decided to make the trip out to New Jersey. I’m excited for all the work they have accomplished so far. As an added bonus we get to celebrate this being their 50th trip,” explained Amy Pennenga, disaster recovery coordinator for LSMNJ.

LSMNJ serves as the local affiliate of Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR), a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Rev. Michael Stadie, program director of Lutheran Disaster Response U.S. traveled across the country and surprised St. Philips team on Tuesday, May 6 with a special plaque in celebration and appreciation of their 50th service trip. “St. Philip’s Disaster Ministry has been a great leader in volunteering to help those impacted by disasters. I don’t know of any other ELCA congregation that has helped as many people all over the country. Their commitment to helping those in need is inspirational,” said The Rev. Michael Stadie.

On their 50th trip the team of 33 volunteers worked on numerous homes with projects ranging from installing windows and floors to painting and helping a survivor unpack her belongings. A Future With Hope is providing housing for the team and coordinated their work projects throughout the week. A volunteer from the St. Philips team reflected on the trip so far, “To be able to see immediate results, both physical and emotional, from the work we did—this was magnificent.”

You can follow the daily activities of the St. Philips team at, http://www.splcmn.org/mission/spdr

To learn more about LSMNJ’s disaster response, please contact Amy Pennenga or visit, https://www.lsmnj.org/community-services/were-making-a-difference-throughout-new-jersey/lsmnj-disaster-recovery/.