A Project Compassion mission team from The Charles Finney School in Penfield recently spent a week assisting a family repair damages to their home nearly five years after Hurricane Sandy in Highlands, New Jersey.
The team donated $1,600 and worked with the owner to complete a two-day project. Students also worked on beautification projects in advance of the borough’s annual Clam Festival.
This is nothing new for Finney’s Project Compassion mission teams. The first team arrived two weeks after Sandy in 2012 to witness the devastation and serve in clothing and food distribution centers. During the visit, Peter Burch, director of Project Compassion, told Councilwoman Tara Ryan that Project Compassion was making made a long-term commitment to Highlands.
On Christmas Eve of the same year, Project Compassion returned with a moving van to deliver furniture and household necessities to two families impacted by Sandy.
Over the 2015 Christmas break, Project Compassion’s 17-member Girls Christmas Choir sang at a nursing home and service in remembrance of Daniel Barden, a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Finney’s student missionaries have returned to Highlands 13 times to bring love, hope, encouragement, prayers and commitment to serving the needs of families, businesses and civic organizations. Mission projects include replacing items lost to Sandy, painting at the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, cleaning and landscaping, planting a garden, assisting on the boardwalk demolition, delivering school supplies and purchasing a $3,000 fence.
“After the destruction of Superstorm Sandy, while we were still reeling, the members of Project Compassion came to our town and started helping us put it all back together,” Ryan said. “Even more important than the hard work that the group completed was the team’s good will, compassion and prayers, and the willingness to listen to each heartbroken resident they met went a long way in helping Highlands recover. Dr. Burch and his team decided that they would help one family at a time, replacing destroyed personal belongings and household items. Then, they decided to do more, to actually work to rebuild and renovate destroyed homes and a business. Highlands families have benefited from the amazing work and dedication offered by Project Compassion. Actually, the entire town has benefited, since the positive actions of the team affect everyone who hears of the work they have done. I have personally benefited by being shown the goodness and kindness that still exists in this world, after my world was almost destroyed.”
Project Compassion missionaries have traveled over 60,000 miles, serving on a total of 27 mission trips in 17 states and four countries.
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