Hurricane Sandy Relief
On 29th October 2012, Hurricane Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, landed on the East Coast of the USA. Within 24 hours thousands of homes were damaged, and to date the death toll from the storm has reached over 200. Families in New Jersey, New York City and Long Island were among the hardest hit due to extensive power outages and fuel shortages. With Bhagavan Baba’s blessings and grace, the USA Sathya Sai Organization immediately sprang into action by providing food, clothing and transportation to the victims of the natural disaster.
Relief activities were planned and coordinated across all regions of the USA to ease the delivery of much-needed supplies to the affected regions. Guidelines were promptly established to protect the health and welfare of Sathya Sai volunteers who were in the affected areas helping the needy.
Sathya Sai Organisation of USA first started their relief efforts with food donations and looking after the immediate needs of those in shelters. They walked long distances to reach victims and served them hot food, sandwiches, pasta and drinks. In some regions, toiletries, warm blankets, canned food, clothes and shoes were donated. In North Jersey as well as South Jersey, about 1,000 packs of food were distributed. In Queens, New York, Sathya Sai volunteers continue to serve 600 hot meals daily to victims rendered homeless and now living in a makeshift shelter. With Bhagawan’s Grace, the volunteers were able to help an elderly woman in the shelter who could speak only Farsi (Persian). She appeared lost and was concerned that her family didn’t know of her well-being in the shelter and would be looking for her. A devotee from Afghanistan who could speak Farsi was able to connect heart-to-heart with her. In the midst of a national disaster and local chaos with minimal communication and transportation, with Bhagawan’s grace, the devotee was able to locate the woman’s family members. The lady was overjoyed and thankful to the Sathya Sai organisation for their help and loving service.
Sathya Sai centers from all parts of the USA have joined in the relief work by contributing groceries, blankets, hygiene kits, toiletries, school supplies including school bags and gift cards for the purchase of construction materials to repair damaged homes.