Mormon volunteers help US hurricane victims, communities in Africa

Mormon volunteers help US hurricane victims, communities in Africa

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SALT LAKE CITY - About 1,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from around the southeast United States have traveled to Louisiana in the past two weeks to help homeowners affected by Hurricane Isaac.

The hurricane heavily damaged hundreds of homes when it came ashore as a category 1 hurricane during the last week of August.

WWLTV reports volunteers from "Mormon Helping Hands" helped gut 400 homes in LaPlace, Louisiana, in the first two weeks. They planned to do the same with hundreds more.

Some of the volunteers traveled up to 500 miles to join the relief effort. They arrived self-sufficient, packing tents to sleep in, plus all the food and water they would need during the assignment.

One of the volunteers, Richard Jacobs, said, "It's just something you feel. I can't explain it. I knew I had to come here."

Annual Day of Service in Africa

Thousands of members of Mormon Helping Hands turned out for the sixth annual day of service in communities across Africa last month.

About Mormon Helping Hands
The Mormon Helping Hands program brings together members of LDS Church and their neighbors to provide community service. They wear yellow shirts and help people whose lives have been affected by natural disasters and other emergencies. They also partner with government and nonprofit organizations to support and improve the communities where they live.

Mormon Newsroom says volunteers spent time August 18 cleaning, digging, weeding, filling potholes, and mowing lawns in their local areas. In some communities, passers-by saw the results of the work and joined in the effort. In a suburb of Accra, Ghana, volunteers cleared the entire police property of overgrowth and debris.

"The police commander wanted to wear a Mormon Helping Hands yellow vest and have his picture taken with the workers," Mormon Newsroom reports.

Church leaders say the event offers a simple and easy way of living the gospel.

The Mormon Helping Hands program began in South America in 1998, and has since spread to nearly every corner of the world.


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