192 Local Helping Hands Disaster Relief Volunteers Assembled in Tennessee on May 2-3, 2020
The storms produced an estimated 84 tornadoes that left thousands of homes damaged or destroyed, and 34 people dead. It was the deadliest tornado outbreak in the U.S. since 2014. One hundred ninety-two volunteers from the greater Sugar Hill/Suwanee area were there to help last Saturday and Sunday.
Church officials reaffirmed their commitment to being "good global citizens" by stressing the importance of social distancing with smaller Helping Hands teams dispatched with personal protective equipment. Volunteer involvement was limited to those 16-60 years of age and in good health.
"Jesus Christ taught that, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,' said President Burke Hunsaker of the Sugar Hill Stake Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ. "Helping Hands volunteer trips are opportunities for us to serve some of the least of our brothers and sisters who have been impacted by the natural disasters."
More than 770 Helping Hands volunteers worked a total of 226 work orders to tarp roofs, remove downed trees, and clear debris fields - recording 10,159 volunteer hours logged over the weekend.
Shoji Ketchem from the Suwanee congregation of the Church was grateful to be able to work with fellow church volunteers after being confined at home for more than a month due to Covid-19. Ketchem remembers serving Brian & his family that weekend. Brian told Ketchem, "People like you, who we haven't met before and those who came to help these past 2 weekends, have given me a good reason to have faith in God and people again."
Clean-up efforts by The Church are underway in the states most heavily impacted by the storms: Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia.
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Corazon Ketchem (Asst. Communications Director)
Sugar Hill Stake - The Church of Jesus Christ