Thousands of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including missionaries, have provided more than 21,000 hours of service to help people impacted by recent flooding in Colorado.
An estimated 6,000 homes have been destroyed and another 15,000 homes have suffered significant damage. Both numbers include homes of local Latter-day Saints.
Church Humanitarian Services has shipped 90,000 lbs. of emergency supplies such as food, water, hygiene and clean up materials. A meetinghouse in the Aurora area has been set up as an American Red Cross shelter.
On Sunday, 15 September, Mormons in Loveland ended worship services early to collect nonperishable food, bottled water, baby supplies, blankets, hygienic supplies and other items to help many who were severely impacted by the recent flooding.
“It has truly been a privilege and a blessing for our stake (similar to a diocese) to partner with the community and serve our Heavenly Father's children,” said Mark Crane, president of the Loveland Colorado Stake of the Church.
He said the pastor of a local Baptist church in Loveland was impressed and thankful for the efforts of the Latter-day Saint youth who helped out at his church.
Throughout the impacted areas Church members have been volunteering at shelters and relief centers, as well as on several work crews.
In another Loveland location, a woman’s home, ranch and farm sustained significant damage. On two evenings, Mormons extracted water from her basement, ripped out carpets, knocked down walls and removed drenched and destroyed items from the house. They also carried many stacks of wet and combustible hay from her barn.
Afterward, she gathered the Mormon volunteers together and through her tears said she was amazed that young people would come to a stranger’s farm and move smelly and heavy hay, clean mud and water out of her basement and handle so many gross things — and sing and laugh and have a great time while doing so.
In Boulder, Latter-day Saints took advantage of a break in the storms on the 14th of September to begin helping.
Michael G. Williams, president of the Boulder Colorado Stake, said, “We had well over 100 people working most of the day to get standing water out of basements, moving furniture out and pulling up carpet, padding, and baseboards.
Even though it has been a week since the major storm and flooding, President Williams said the magnitude of the needs is only now becoming clearer.