• Over a dozen from church in Matthews help with Sandy relief effort


    MATTHEWS, N.C. - Over a dozen people from a church in Matthews, N.C., are in New Jersey helping with the Sandy recovery effort.

    Those people are volunteering with Samaritan's Purse to help families who lost everything in the storm.

    The charity sent four tractor -trailer loads of supplies to the northeast from north Wilkesboro. The 53-foot trailers are being used to help people affected by the storm.

    Steve Esposito and six other volunteers from Matthews spent much of Monday helping John Mura in Toms River, N.J.

    When Hurricane Sandy hit, the water rose rapidly around Mura's home, leaving a 3-foot water line on part of the first floor. Esposito, who lives in Weddington, but grew up in the area, wanted to help.

    "I used to come here as a kid, Seaside Heights and Long Beach Island and to come here now and to see the devastation that's occurred, it is very difficult to see," said Esposito.

    Samaritan's Purse sent supplies the day after Sandy struck. Their work includes gutting homes that have been flooded, covering roofs with tarps, and cutting down trees.

    "It's just very rewarding. There's just no better cure to help what is ailing you than to help other people, and that's what brings these volunteers back," said Ricky Critcher from Samaritan's Purse.

    Mura was exhausted until the volunteers arrived from Elevation Church in Matthews working through Samaritan's Purse.

    "It means everything that these people are here and want to help. They're an unbelievably big help. I couldn't do it by myself," said Mura.

    Samaritan's Purse has already responded to 20 disasters this year in the U.S. The group from Matthews will return home later this week.

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