It’s been nearly two weeks since Hurricane Ian devastated several cities along Florida’s Gulf Coast, and Latter-day Saints are coming together to help those affected by the destructive storm.
An article published on ChurchofJesusChrist.org on Tuesday, Oct. 11, provided a glimpse into the Church’s large relief effort so far:
- 4,450 volunteers from Florida
- 83,930 hours of service
- 150,000 pounds of donated supplies
- 2,092 completed work orders
Additionally, Church members are answering calls for disaster assistance through a crisis cleanup hotline. In just the last week, 750 Latter-day Saints answered more than 13,000 calls.
Temporary command centers are operating at Latter-day Saint meetinghouses in the cites of Naples, Port Charlotte, Cape Coral and DeLand. Volunteers gather here to sign in, receive work orders and pick up supplies.
Work orders are placed by residents needing anything from roof tarps and muck work to fallen tree removal. One work order typically represents service provided at a single home address.
“For us it’s a privilege, it’s an honor,” said Alex Mendoza, a volunteer from Miami. “We’ve been affected ourselves by hurricanes many, many times. It’s amazing to receive help, especially when you need it.”
Volunteers have been working through the weekend, with many camping near the command centers. In these situations, a brief sacrament meeting is held on Sunday before everyone heads out for a few more hours of service.
Similar efforts will continue over the next few weeks. An additional command center will open in Venice, with volunteers coming in from as far as Georgia and Alabama during the weekend of Oct. 15–16.