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Church members provide service after flooding in Auckland

Local Latter-day Saints are striving to provide aid in a variety of ways

After record rainfall and flooding throughout Auckland, New Zealand, this week, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been rallying to provide aid.

New Zealand’s largest city was bombarded with torrential rains that caused flash floods, landslides, power outages, road closures and at least four deaths, according to the Associated Press.

The amount of rain that would typically fall during an entire summer came in a single day. At one point, more than 6 inches (15 centimeters) fell in three hours.

“Steep roads just became rivers of water,” Emma Kaniuk, a resident of Auckland, told the New York Times

With so many residents of Auckland, a city of 1.7 million, displaced, Church members have been striving to provide aid in a variety of ways.

One of the Church’s meetinghouses has served as a collection point for people wishing to donate emergency supplies such as pillows, towels, linens, shoes, canned food goods and other necessities, reported the Church’s Pacific Newsroom. Others have been volunteering to help move and distribute supplies.

A local woman donates bedding to a linen and towel drive in Auckland, New Zealand, on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, following heavy rains and flooding. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The contributions are being distributed to an Auckland area civil defense center in Mangere, a suburb of Auckland, to displaced individuals and families.

Local Church members Hilda Port and Laura Hunter organized a linen and towel drive for those impacted by flooding. As volunteers thanked Ella Scanlan as she dropped off her items, she responded, “Sharing is caring.”

“People want to help but are not always able to perform the hard physical work that is often required,” Port said.

“This is a way they can help, by donating items that are desperately needed.” 

Latter-day Saint volunteers gather to offer assistance at the Rainui Baptist Church, in Auckland, New Zealand, in January 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

A group of Latter-day Saint volunteers also brought bedding, food and other supplies to a local Baptist church to add to its supplies for flood victims to access over the coming days.

One Latter-day Saint told the Church’s Pacific Newsroom that when she heard of the service the Baptist community was offering, she and others thought it would be a good idea to combine resources and work together so they could help more people.

Church members are being urged to follow civil defense and other advice regarding essential travel and other safety precautions.

Opportunities for service are also being posted on JustServe.org

As of Friday, Feb. 3, there were seven Auckland flood-related projects posted on JustServe. Those wanting to help can also visit the JustServe-Auckland Facebook page.

Latter-day Saints joined forces with the Rainui Baptist Church, in Auckland, New Zealand, to help those impacted by flooding in January 2023. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
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