New Hope, Nissan Helping Sandy Victims

New Hope Baptist Church Pastor Jerry Young accepted a $20,000 check from Nissan Vice President Dan Bednarzyk Wednesday for the church's Hurricane Sandy relief fund.

New Hope Baptist Church Pastor Jerry Young accepted a $20,000 check from Nissan Vice President Dan Bednarzyk Wednesday for the church's Hurricane Sandy relief fund. Photo by Jacob Fuller.

Most Mississippians know what it's like to have a hurricane affect their lives.

With the memories of Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac not far behind, New Hope Baptist Church of Jackson and Nissan have teamed up to deliver relief to the people suffering from the effects of Hurricane Sandy.

Shortly after hearing about the super storm ravaging much of the northeastern United States, New Hope Baptist and pastor Jerry Young set up a disaster relief fund. New Hope employees got in touch with churches that help run shelters in the cities of Garfield and Newark, N.J. and asked what the shelters need.

The church will pack an 18-wheeler with those goods, including food, diapers, baby wipes, paper towels, blankets, toilet paper and other essentials and ship the goods to the shelters.

The community outreach department at Nissan in Canton learned about New Hope's relief fund from employees who attend the church. Dan Bednarzyk, vice president of manufacturing for Nissan North America, said when he heard about the program, it was a no-brainer to contribute. So he signed a Nissan check for $20,000.

"Being a good corporate community supporter, we felt like this was something that we needed to do," Bednarzyk said at a check presentation at New Hope Baptist Wednesday. "Having lived through Katrina back in 2005 and the overwhelming support that we received from all over the nation, especially the faith-based community, when Dr. Young initiated this, we felt like this was something that we really wanted to support."

Along with the funds, Nissan also loaned New Hope vans to pick up donations throughout the city.

Young thanked Nissan for its donation and for the employees who helped New Hope collect goods. He said there is no doubt that the people in the northeast need help from people in the rest of the country.

"We decided that it wasn't enough for us to simply declare the gospel; we've got to demonstrate it," Young said at the presentation. "What we're trying to do now is demonstrate the gospel.

Isabella Evans is the outreach coordinator at New Hope Baptist Church. She directed the efforts of the relief fund, which started last weekend. She said that not only did the church and Nissan give to the fund, but New Hope Christian Elementary and Preschool students and parents also helped collect donations.

New Hope does not plan to send people to help in relief efforts at this time, Evans said, but will do so if they hear people are needed.

The Red Cross is requesting that anyone who wants to help with the recovery from the storm make a financial donation, rather than goods. Financial support allows the Red Cross to determine and fulfill the most immediate needs of the victims.

You can donate today at https://www.redcross.org/donate/index.jsp?donateStep=2&itemId=prod10002 or you can call the Red Cross at 1-800-Red-Cross (1-800-733-2767).

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