US Grand Priory aiding and assisting during Hurricane Sandy (November 2012)
In response to Hurricane Sandy, the United States Grand Priory volunteers were in full force, gathering essential emergency items for various affected areas including Newark, Long Branch, and Union Beach, New Jersey. The vast majority of homes in these areas are without power or heat and others have lost their homes entirely. With the help of local authorities and the overwhelming dedication of our volunteers, the US Grand Priory has been distributing food and other items to these individuals, giving them love and hope during such hard times.
The Grand Priory’s Commander of Iowa, Scott Smith, is a disaster relief expert and has been very busy inducting his skills to the members of The Legion of Goodwill, with which the US Grand Priory are jointly operating throughout the ordeals of Hurricane Sandy. Confrere Scott Smith states that his actions are, '…a good redemptive act that grew out of our 2008 flood and all the experience that grew out of pain, I freely share for others' well-being.' On the 4th of November, our Iowa Commander addressed the Ingathering participants at the Iowa Wesleyan College. Before the quilt auction which was organized there, a staggering USD 200,000 in cash and kits for assistance was already successfully raised.
Funds were also collected by various other US Commanderies of the Order which went directly to the purchasing of blankets for the inflicted, with the Commander of New York, Confrere Victor Serino, coordinating Hospitaller work in his region as well. The Secretary General of the US Grand Priory, Dame Karen Cantrell, said, 'It is such a wonderful thing to see these helpless people come here and so graciously receive needed goods and supplies, diapers, dog and cat food, gloves, brooms shovels etc'. All these items and much more were made available by the joint team effort of the US Grand Priory and "Legion of Goodwill" with offices in NYC on 44th Street. She was also in direct contact with the Holy Rosary Church in Harlem, which also suffered water damage and the Grand Priory assisted this church as well.