Seeing the devastating images out of Breezy Point, New York, in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy is enough to make Shannon Medich tear up. But knowing she knows someone who is helping the community clean up and rebuild, fills her with pride.
“All of us, when it first happened, we gave and we thought about it. I think what’s remarkable about him is that he keeps giving,” Medich said about Tom Jones, a fellow church member that she considers like her older brother.
Jones has led a half-dozen volunteer trips to Breezy Point since Sandy hit, helping homeowners salvage and clean out what’s left of their flooded and damaged homes, and distributing care packages.
“Tom hasn’t forgotten,” Medich said. “He’s going every week, sometimes multiple times a week when he can get off work and he has four kids of his own and he’s still going.”
When Medich surprised Jones with $200 at his doorstep, she explained why she thought of him.
“I just wanted to honor your efforts to help the hurricane people and we’ve been talking in Community Bible Church about living incarnationally. And you’ve been the hands and feet of God to so many. Here’s 200 bucks!” she said.
Jones said seeing coverage of the destruction urged him to act.
“The fact that the hurricane did hit us and our lights didn’t even flicker, and just a few days later, I saw people diving in dumpsters to feed their kids, while we were sitting here eating our supper,” he said.
Jones plans to continue the trips as long as he’s needed, even taking along his wife and children to do their part.
“There are still 30,000 people in the New York area alone that are staying in auditoriums and shelters on cots,” he said. “Those people still need our help.”
He has trips scheduled through February and is working in conjunction with a group of churches through the Spread of Grace Ministries. To find out how to donate to their relief efforts, visit their website here.