LAURENCE HARBOR, NJ (November 15, 2012) – Hurricane Sandy has forced Laurence Harbor Covenant Church to close its daycare since the storm struck and threatens the jobs of its employees as the congregation may have to close it permanently, Pastor Ray Burnett said today.
“With our daycare shut down for two full weeks, we had combined income and payroll losses of more than $10,000,” he wrote in an email. “This has created a tremendous hardship on our daycare staff and has put its continuation in immediate danger. We are currently doing all we can to cut back costs and keep everyone working.”
One staff member already had lost her home and possessions to the storm. “During the last cell phone call we got from her, she was wading through waist-high water in her house as her front door floated down the street,” Burnett said.
Another couple who were evacuated from their apartment before Sandy hit will not be able to return to their apartment for at least another two weeks. The storm surge had undercut the building’s foundation, Burnett said. The floodwaters also destroyed the couple’s car.
“The stories are endless and heartbreaking,” Burnett said. “So many people are completely starting over again. They’ve lost their homes, their possessions, their cars, and even their jobs because the places they worked were wiped out, too.”
The small congregation of about 40 people is working to determine how to best serve those in need. “As a first step toward that goal, we just delivered the fixings for 12 complete turkey dinners along with a mountain of other non-perishables to the local food bank here in our area,” Burnett said.
Burnett said the church building suffered only minor damage, “but the firehouse next door took the full brunt of the wind, losing its entire second floor.”