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Hurricane Sandy, October 2012

Volunteers from the Long Island Church of Christ in Central Islip, N.Y., help distribute relief to the Far Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy. (PHOTO BY REBECCA YOUNG)

WHAT HAPPENED : A Category 3 storm claimed more than 280 lives in seven countries, causing millions of dollars of damage in New York and New Jersey. (See our coverage of the hurricane.)

WHAT HELPED: “The hurricane created huge evangelistic opportunities,” said Carl Williamson, lead evangelist for the Gateway Church of Christ in Holmdel, N.J. Transitioning from short- to long-term recovery has helped in this effort. Church members have provided furniture and helped remodel the inside of 200-plus homes since the storm. The church also has a strong focus on counseling victims.

WHAT DIDN’T: Although they ran out of diapers, “We had more M&M’s than we could use,” Williamson joked. 

>> NEXT: Joplin, Mo., tornado, May 2011 >>

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