Pastor Gail Adamoschek of Sprakers, a woman locally heralded for her work in disaster relief, drew wider praise last week upon being named a 2014 Woman of Distinction in the state Senate.
Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk D-Duanesburg, presented her with the honor Tuesday at the Capitol, citing her work helping her region’s poor during heavy flooding in 2006, 2011 and 2013. Adamoschek opened the doors to the River of Jubilee Church — where she is a pastor — for refuge and provided supplies to those hit hardest by the floods. Food, water, blankets, whatever was needed was openly shared.
“These are women who stepped in to improve their communities,” Tkaczyk said. “[Pastor Gail] saw a problem, a challenge and saw things to work on. They do what they do because it’s the right thing to do.”
Each of the 63 senators chose one woman in their district for the honor.
Adamoschek and her son, Benjamin, witnessed the destruction Tropical Storm Irene wrought when it bulldozed the Schoharie Valley and Mohawk Valley regions. The destruction and debris left behind was horrible, she said.
“It was fine just a day before,” she said. “We’ve got to help. How can we not?”
Adamoschek led teams to gut and rebuild homes. Receiving help from Jezreel International, she drove food, clothing and building supplies by the truckload to those hit hardest in the storm’s path.
She also organized a group of hundreds of volunteers to work in both valleys to relieve families from the impact of tropical storms Irene and Lee.
“It’s because it’s the right thing to do,” Adamoschek said. “It’s what Jesus would do. Look out for your neighbor. I love people. I want to help them out. That’s my inspiration.”
Adamoschek has continued her education, so to speak, by receiving her certification for international disaster relief work through Crisis Response International. Putting her new skills to work, she traveled to Moore, Okla., last May after a tornado tore the town apart. Also in 2013, Adamoschek and her River of Jubilee Church aided those in Fort Plain who were inundated in a flash flood last summer. She created the framework for collaborative responses to such disasters by teaming up with other local pastors, and these efforts assist damaged communities with food, shelter and supplies.
“When the Bible says to love your neighbor,” Adamoschek said, “everyone can do something. You can be nice or sweet or if they’re hurting, do something to help. Come up and give them a hug.”
Adamoschek co-chairs the Fulton-Montgomery Long Term Recovery Group, which focuses on immediate recoveries and plans for future traumas to the area.
“You see a mess?” she said. “You put on your work boots and grab a shovel.”