LORAIN, Ohio – A local pastor will make a second trip back to the East Coast next month to deliver supplies to victims of Superstorm Sandy.
“What I had seen was chaos, I seen abandonment, I seen brokenness, and I just seen loneliness, and this city needs our help,” said Pastor Angel Arroyo, Jr. of .Com Ministry.
Arroyo returned from a three day trip to New York City last week where he dropped off donations he gathered from Cleveland-area residents following the hurricane that devastated parts of the East Coast in October.
He said he was so moved by his first visit that he started accepting donations Tuesday for another trip.
“I think about him every day,” said Arroyo, who became emotional when he talked about an 8-year-old boy he met on South Rockaway Island named Marcus. Arroyo said Marcus roamed the streets because his low-income housing unit didn’t have power and his mother abused drugs.
The 30-year-old Lorain resident who referenced his own rough childhood said Marcus ran up to him while delivering donations and asked for food. Arroyo had nothing left but his Cuban sandwich, which he gave to the boy.
“This was a kid who was begging for food,” said Arroyo, adding that Marcus then helped to unload supplies from his truck for the next two hours. “It just opened my eyes to how much people in our country need the support here.”
At least two other Cleveland-area residents will accompany Arroyo on his next donation drop off.
“This is an issue of children and grandmothers and people like you and I, normal everyday folk, that don’t have something to eat, that don’t have a blanket to cover themselves up with,” said Associate Pastor Samuel Rosario of Casa Del Alfarero Church in Lorain.
Rosario and his brother plan to drive two trucks full of donations to those in need.
“We have Thanksgiving coming up, and we’ll be able to have a turkey and we’ll be able to eat stuffing, and they won’t,” added Rosario.
Arroyo said he’s saddened to know that the holidays will be especially painful for the victims of Sandy, including Marcus.
“I hope he’s able to eat that day,” cried Arroyo.
Bottled water, non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies and diapers are being accepted daily until Dec. 13 at these locations:
– De Dios Ebenezer M.I., 3660 Globe Ave., Lorain
– Primitiva La Gran Comision Church, 913 College Ave., Cleveland