Reece Hammond, Jennifer McCoy and Ethan Elgin served with a group of eight other students who had come to New York City from Missouri to participate in Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts. The students attend Northwest Missouri State University.
"It's really been amazing just being able to serve them," Hammond said. "They were just so thankful that we were there. They brought their kids and introduced them to us."
McCoy told Fox & Friends host Steve Doocy, "Many times people would call us angels.... We would say, 'No, we're not angels.' But they were just overwhelmed that college students would come and give their time and just come and help them."
The students are part of a group of nearly 400 from 21 states who will serve New York homeowners by removing debris from flooded homes, stripping flooring and sheetrock and preparing homes for needed reconstruction.
The students have been working under the supervision of trained Southern Baptist Disaster Relief veterans who have been onsite helping Sandy survivors since the storm struck in late October.
"Why did you do this this Christmas season?" Doocy asked Reece Hammond.
"I just want to serve and glorify God," Hammond responded. "He's my life. He's my everything, and I want other people to know Him the way I know Him. I want to come out here and I want to love people and say, 'Hey, there is hope in this. There are people who are with you during this time.'"
Doocy said, "Well it's going to be a bleak season for many people impacted by Sandy, but you kids showing up really have lifted a number of spirits."
SBDR volunteers serving Sandy survivors had prepared 1,788,034 meals as of Dec. 18. By that date SBDR volunteers had given 29,937 volunteer days, presented the Gospel 779 times and seen 83 people come to faith in Christ as a result of their service.
From its disaster operations center in Alpharetta, Ga., NAMB coordinates Southern Baptist responses to major disasters through a partnership between NAMB and the SBC's 42 state conventions, most of which have their own state disaster relief programs.
SBDR assets include 82,000 trained volunteers, including chaplains, and some 1,550 mobile units for feeding, chainsaw, mud-out, command, communication, childcare, shower, laundry, water purification, repair/rebuild and power generation. SBDR is one of the three largest mobilizers of trained disaster relief volunteers in the United States, along with the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.
Southern Baptists and others who want to donate to the disaster relief operations can contact their state conventions or contribute to NAMB's disaster relief fund via namb.net/disaster-relief-donations. Other ways to donate are to call 866-407-NAMB (6262) or mail checks to NAMB, P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543. Designate checks for "Disaster Relief."
Mike Ebert is vice president of communications at the North American Mission Board. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
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