Mormon Helping Hands (MHH) volunteers have made a significant dent in the cleanup after Hurricane Sandy in late October.
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who make up a large part of MHH, began almost immediately after the hurricane, helping the thousands of people devastated by the super storm.
To date more than 28,000 MHH volunteers have given of their time, totaling over 275,000 hours.
“I can't thank all the volunteers enough for all the amazing help my family received!” wrote Kelly-Ann Mcmullan-Preiss of Belle Harbor, New York, on the New York Metro Mormon Helping Hands Facebook page. “You will all be forever in our hearts!”
Thousands of boxes of food were given to the Red Cross, and the Church donated $50,000 to the American Red Cross of Greater New York. In addition, nine semi-trucks full of cleaning supplies, including shovels, generators and water pumps, were sent to a central support center in Emerson, New Jersey, and 10 truckloads of blanket and clothing donations have been distributed throughout the region.
During the six-week-long cleanup effort, volunteers traveled from as far as Canada, New Hampshire and Virginia. Thousands of volunteers from neighboring states even spent the night in local Mormon church buildings over the Thanksgiving weekend in order to spend more time assisting with recovery efforts.
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy visited in December the affected regions in New York and New Jersey to meet with residents and thank the volunteers.
Latter-day Saint missionaries brought the Christmas spirit to hard-hit communities with a series of musical firesides in New Jersey, Staten Island and the Rockaways.
Additional MHH work will occur throughout the impacted areas.
In the Pacific, where Cyclone Evan recently hit the island of Samoa, Elder F. Michael Watson of the Church’s Seventy visited Latter-day Saints. Read more at the Pacific area Mormon Newsroom site.