Good afternoon everyone,

Things are looking up! God’s Love has its electricity back on. Our email system and phones have come alive and we will move forward on our plans to get up and running for Monday, November 5th. More on that in a bit.

First, here is a round-up of our day yesterday.

We completed eight routes to clients, reaching about 350 with food for 3-4 days each. Two staff members shared the route on Staten Island, and reached half of those clients, finding many Zone A areas impassable or evacuated. They delivered as much as they could, and then donated 200 entrees to a site of one of our strongest collaborators, Project Hospitality, an HIV services organization. They greatly appreciated the effort and the food, as services in Staten Island are particularly decimated.

In the office, staff and volunteers assembled 550 more “Sandy bags” from additional nonperishable products that were delivered in the morning.

Through a staff member’s connection, we connected with the District 27 offices in Queens and then near the end of the day, volunteers from the Adventist Community Services Disaster Response from Laurelton, Queens arrived with a truck and collected 111 crates of entrees, 21 boxes of multi-grain rolls and a bin of Chuck the Baker’s brownie bits. These 4,500 plus entrees will be served to residents of the hard-hit Rockaways area who are sheltered at St. John’s University.

We have been doing a great job keeping our community updated via Facebook, Twitter and other social media. We are pleased to have kept you updated via our website with new information for clients and blogs like this one about our experience.

We are so pleased that with our efforts to reach our own clients and to support evacuees and those in shelters we were successful in putting to great use all of the frozen meals we had in inventory. No prepared food was wasted or thrown away.

And now, moving forward…

Once we confirm that the facility looks in good shape, we will be calling some staff and volunteers to join us tomorrow for a Sunday “clean-up and prep” shift. We will make another 500 Sandy bags of non-perishable food to go with the 1,100 we have on hand. We will also enter the kitchen for the first time (remember, it’s been totally dark and unsafe, not knowing if there were any hazards or flooding to manage). We will get the entire facility cleaned up and make sure that the entire kitchen is ready for Monday.

On Monday, we plan to deliver Sandy Bags to all Monday clients and to start prepping for Tuesday’s cooking and delivery.

There is one caveat to this plan, and that is the availability of gas for our vans. Right now, they are empty. We have been working very hard to get gas for the vehicles, and we will be working on this all weekend. The good news is that gas is starting to arrive in the City.

Thanks again for all of your support. I know that our clients are grateful for our efforts and that we all feel great for what we have been able to accomplish during these trying times.

We are thrilled to be back online, to have access to our phones and to email, and are eager to get back in the kitchen and on the road to all of our clients. Thank you for your patience, support and good wishes. It means the world.

All my best,