Today’s edition of “Getting It Right” features stories that detail how Mormons continue to help Hurricane Sandy victims, and a news segment that says Mormons welcome opportunities to explain their faith to the public.
Several news outlets are writing about how thousands of local Mormons — both from the East Coast and across the United States, wearing familiar yellow Mormon Helping Hands vests — continue to help clean up Hurricane Sandy storm damage.
Writing generally about the post-Sandy cleanup, Washington Post writer Jeannine Hunter quotes Church Public Affairs managing director Mike Otterson, who says that the yellow-vested volunteers “become quickly recognized and people respond very well when they see an army of volunteers like that. They no longer feel alone; it lifts their spirits.”
Phil Garber from the Mount Olive Chronicle correctly notes that, at the time his story was posted, local Latter-day Saints had given more than 80,000 hours of service (the current number is nearly 197,000 hours) — including Mormons in Oakton, Virginia, who helped fill six semi-trucks full of coats, blankets and clothing for storm victims in the Rockaway and Lynbrook areas.
The Greenwhich Time’s Eve Sullivan writes about how thousands of local Mormons have helped and will continue to serve those most severely impacted by the storm. “The Mormons are so conscientious and giving; it makes me weepy,” says Ed Schneck, a Rockaways resident who benefited from Mormon volunteers’ service. “We try to live up to being a church of Jesus Christ,” adds John McFadden, a local Mormon. “We like to help people that are in hardships.”
In the Idaho Standard Journal, Emmilie Buchanan tells the story of how she and a group of BYU-Idaho students, while in New York to seek internship opportunities, also donned Mormon Helping Hands vests to help clean up storm debris. She says as they helped to clean up the basement of a man named Eddie, he was surprised to learn the students came all the way from Idaho to help. “A warm feeling that can only come from doing something selfless flooded through my heart,” Buchanan writes. “I was proud to be an American, grateful to have met Eddie and happy to be standing in mud and mold in a dingy basement.”
Adam Sullivan of WCAX TV in Vermont reports on the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial, located in South Royalton, Vermont. Sullivan includes comments from memorial director Brian Schuck, who, in addition to briefly describing important events in Smith’s life and memorial site activities, also notes that the birthplace memorial site provides an opportunity to better inform people about the Church.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about members of the Church in this country,” Schuck says, “and we want to help inform people of who we are and where our origins are and why we are what we are.”
Mormon Newsroom’s Mormonism 101:FAQ page dispels several common misperceptions about the Church.
Also see Newsroom’s summer travel piece about the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial.