Sandy Victims Receive Help From The Heartland

By: Gary Smollen Email
By: Gary Smollen Email

Tax deductible donations can be sent to:

Omaha Rapid Response

P.O. Box 24052

Omaha, NE 68124


Their sole purpose is to help those in need. So the Omaha Rapid Response Team is headed east to help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

For 12 years now, the group has been making its mark on the world. The Omaha Rapid Response Team is going to some of the hardest hit areas along the east coast. They will be working with groups from Iowa and Michigan as well as North Carolina and Virginia in parts of Staten Island, New Jersey and Long Island.

The volunteers will be distributing food and water, but they have also packed chain saws and are ready for long days of blue collar labor.

The pictures of the damage Sandy left in her wake are seared into the nation’s collective memory. Parts of Manhattan without power for days, parts of Staten Island wiped off the face of the earth. It is a daunting task, but this is where the team is needed and this is where it's headed.

“People are starting to get back in their homes and realize the gravity of how much work needs to be done, so however we can be best utilized, that is what we're going to do when we get there," said Ed Karbowski, the team leader on this trip. He has served in Haiti and at other disaster sites.

Omaha Rapid Response has a generator and equipment they'll need for almost any situation. They're even using their Thanksgiving break to help those in need.

"Where the churches right on the beach got damaged, we'll get some power to them, help them out there and feed them," said Ken Gruber. "We're planning on feeding about 5,000 on Thursday, the victims and the homeless in that area, and we will be able to sit down."

The schedule doesn't allow for much down time, but first they have to find the work. They trust the Lord will lead them to those they can help the most.

"It is neat to see how communities are coming together and the agencies are coming in to help each other and we just hope to be a part of that," said Karbowski.

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