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For Keith Day, the crippling effects of Hurricane Sandy were only images and videos on the television, more than 1,500 miles away.
But by the middle of November, the lead pastor for Chapel Creek Fellowship Church of Ft. Worth, Texas, had already assembled a team of 11 to caravan three trailers up to Broad Channel to spend the latter half of the month lending a hand to storm survivors.
With a group set up next door to an American Legion acting as a Federal Emergency Management Agency station in Broad Channel, members of the Chapel Creek Disaster Relief Team prepared as many as 2,000 Texas-style home-cooked meals each day, Day said.
“We do this because it is our call,” Day said. “We believe Christianity is more than just going to church.”
The crew parked their trailers in the parking lot beside the American Legion, at 209 Cross Bay Blvd., and created a makeshift feeding station, stocked with tables of cooking materials and serving areas. Nearby a FEMA shelter and North Shore-LIJ mobile medical van also helped with the relief efforts.
Throughout the day, Day said storm survivors would stop for a meal and some moral support, courtesy of the Disaster Relief Team.
It took the team three days of driving to make the 1,500 miles from Ft. Worth to Broad Channel, Day said, but it was nothing new for the Disaster Relief Team. According to Day, the group has acted to provide assistance to victims of natural disasters and other situations of need in other parts of the country in the past, including Kansas and Missouri.
Last year, members of the Disaster Relief Team headed to Joplin, Mo., to provide food and relief to workers and residents following a severe tornado.
“Disaster relief is just one way we can fulfill our mission,” Day said. “We are here to serve and show the love of Christ to those who have been affected by this storm.”
After seeing the hardships that thousands of residents throughout Queens were facing in the wake of superstorm Sandy, Day and his wife Debbie said it was a no-brainer for Chapel Creek to saddle up and pitch in. Members of the church quickly assembled donation drives in preparation for the trip.
“It took five days to prepare and three days to travel, but we made it,” Day said.
Since the group’s arrival in Broad Channel in the middle of last week, Day said the Chapel Creek Fellowship was dishing out as many as 2,000 home-cooked meals a day. Day said the team would remain in the borough through the end of November before heading back home.
“If you have faith, there is room for everyone to help,” Day said.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-457
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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