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STATEN ISLAND, New York (AP) -- A group of evangelical churches in New York's Staten Island has put aside any theological differences to form a storm relief network that is working in conjunction with relief groups and government agencies.
The outlying borough suffered damage from Superstorm Sandy and the nor'easter.
Church of the Gateway Pastor Tim Mercaldo says his veteran receptionist lost everything and other members suffered damage. The church itself had little damage and amazingly has never lost power.
That's allowed it and three other evangelical ministries to serve as distribution hubs for a "tsunami" of relief supplies. Mercaldo says the four churches don't agree on everything but have set aside all differences to create a unified response team that is working with relief agencies such as the Red Cross and with local and federal agencies including FEMA.
Mercaldo says God has used the foundation of friendship to bring them together in the emergency. He envisions a lasting partnership to address long-term needs of those battered by the storm.
He says there's still a need for financial donations, generators and non-perishable food. Used clothing items are not wanted.
Needed items are posted on the church's Facebook page and web site -- www.churchatthegateway.org
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)