In response to Louisiana Governor Edwards’ plea for faith-based organizations to respond to the state’s recent flooding disaster, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is expecting to bring as many as 9,400 “Mormon Helping Hands” volunteers, over three weekend periods, to help families clean out affected homes. Members are traveling from Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama and Louisiana to give assistance by removing from houses damaged sheetrock, flooring and debris caused by the flood.

Over 150 local members from the church’s congregations in Baldwin and Mobile Counties and surrounding regions, travelled to the Baton Rouge area Aug. 27 to offer helping hands to those in need. All of the volunteers were self sustaining, bringing with them tools, food and camping gear, as they prepared to give service over the weekend. Working with thousands of other members, they worked in crews of approximately 12 people to complete 1,400 work orders over two days, giving 110, 343 hours in total. Speaking of the volunteers’ motivation to help, leader of the Mobile congregation, Bishop Jason Jordan, stated, “We help because we are all brothers and sisters of our Father in Heaven. We help because He has blessed us with time, talents, health, strength, skills and abilities to help those in need. We help because that is what the Savior would have us do; it is what He would do.”

Volunteer members from the Daphne congregation, including three generations of the Boxx family, and two from the Evans family, form a work crew to work on flood damaged homes. From left: Ashlan Evans, Anne Evans, Greg Boxx, Zachary Boxx, Matthew Boxx, Edward Brewer, Chris Silva, Mark Boxx, Tanner Klippel and Fred Christensen.

Volunteer members from the Daphne congregation, including three generations of the Boxx family, and two from the Evans family, form a work crew to work on flood damaged homes. From left: Ashlan Evans, Anne Evans, Greg Boxx, Zachary Boxx, Matthew Boxx, Edward Brewer, Chris Silva, Mark Boxx, Tanner Klippel and Fred Christensen.

On Sunday, at a brief worship meeting, held prior to the member volunteers embarking on their second day of work, Baton Rouge Mayor Kip Holden, addressing the gathering, said, “I’m very grateful you left your homes to come to the great city of Baton Rouge. Look at these numbers! There was no hesitation for you reaching out. You are our family. We are the recipients of your good will, and we will never forget you!”

A further 4,000 volunteers from the six southern states have committed to travel to the affected areas Labor Day weekend, reaching the total of 9,400 church member volunteers, that have answered the call to help the Louisiana flood victims.

For more info about Mormon Helping Hands visit http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/helping-hands.