Hundreds of volunteers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints adorned in yellow “Mormon Helping Hands” T-shirts spent this past weekend rendering aid to flood victims throughout southern Indiana.
The volunteers labored throughout Saturday and Sunday lending assistance in the communities of Columbus, Franklin, Medora, Seymour and Terre Haute. The Church provided items that were most in demand — bottled water, diapers, infant formula and hygiene kits. It also distributed over 6,000 cleaning kits to families returning to their homes.
According to N. Strait Hill, president of the Indianapolis stake (similar to a diocese), the two Columbus congregations held a combined church service Sunday, then resumed their efforts to help the flood victims. “Many of the 400 volunteers commented it was the best Father’s Day they have had. They cleaned up a large trailer park, spending thousands of man-hours clearing debris.”
President Hill said he attended an interfaith meeting where the leader noted he was happy to see so many Church volunteers. “He made several positive comments about our efforts based on his prior experience in assisting with disaster relief.”
The director of the Volunteer Action Center in Franklin said she had noted tremendous support from Church members and missionaries. She said she wished she could “clone” the missionaries and have hundreds more just like them.
Church leader Elder John J. Chipman added: “It was striking to see the willingness of Church members to help everyone just as quickly as possible. Mobilization decisions were made almost immediately.”
Similar assistance was provided by Mormon volunteers in Iowa and Wisconsin.