St. Mark the Evangelist Church in North Bellmore has been a satellite donation center for the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island during the Hurricane Sandy crisis. This "little church with the big heart" has also provided power for residents to charge their phones and has served simple soup suppers and warm fellowship for those folks who have needed it. Each Tuesday since the storm, Father John Jeffrey Purchal has held a Mass of Healing and Thanksgiving at 12 noon.
Donations of clothing, warm coats, blankets, food, and many other needs have come pouring in. In addition to individual donations, we received dozens of beautiful hand-crocheted blankets from the Suffolk County Homemakers Society. This Tuesday, November 20th, Shirley Jackson will drive all the way from her home in Maine to personally deliver items collected by her church, St. Thomas Episcopal in Dover, New Hampshire.
In addition, the Kaplon Family from Sacramento, California, held a drive at their children's school and have packed up 20 boxes of blankets and coats that are currently in transit and will be arriving on November 27th. The school children are also sending letters of encouragement to the victims of the storm.
St. Mark's volunteers have already distributed many of the donations to the Long Island Council of Churches Emergency Food Pantry in Freeport, and the Episcopal Diocese Collection Center at Holy Trinity Church in Valley Stream.
For all those who have been volunteering at St. Mark's, this has been a very rewarding and inspiring experience. We know that the needs are great and will continue for a long time to come, especially for those who have lost everything. If you wish to volunteer at St. Mark's or donate, please contact Ann McPartlin at (516) 383-9969.
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