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Helping Hands Volunteers Clean Up After Flooding in Vermont

The service ‘speaks to the Church’s core values of following Jesus’ example,’ says Montpelier stake president

Glenn and Ruth Goodrich volunteer to clean up from flooding in downtown Montpelier, Vermont, after abbreviated church services Sunday, July 16, 2023. Photo by Sheridan Gray-Jones, courtesy of Church News.All rights reserved.

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By Mary Richards, Church News

Torrential rains and flooding struck the central part of the U.S. state of Vermont in July, leaving homes, businesses and infrastructure severely damaged.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided humanitarian aid, and local members gathered to give assistance.

Wearing yellow Helping Hands T-shirts, volunteers shoveled mud, cleared yard debris and mucked out homes in Montpelier, Barre, Johnson and Cabot.

Todd Page and Chris Norcross help muck out Trinity Methodist Church in Montpelier, Vermont, on Sunday, July 16, 2023. Photo by Sheridan Gray-Jones, courtesy of Church News.All rights reserved.


Montpelier Vermont Stake President Erik S. Worthington invited the local wards to hold abbreviated Sunday worship services so the members could go out and serve in their communities.

“We are grateful to serve side by side with friends, neighbors, all affected in different ways by this flood,” President Worthington said. “To see many of our members come from near and far to unload goods for the community, to muck out basements, speaks to the Church’s core values of following Jesus’ example and helping those in need, whoever they are.”

The Montpelier meetinghouse became a location for Church humanitarian donations to be gathered. Food, water, hand tools and cleaning supplies were made available to communities and to other volunteer organizations.

Jacob Hinton, left, and Nick Landry, right, join two full-time missionaries to clean up after flooding in Barre, Vermont, Saturday, July 15, 2023. Photo by Jacob Hinton, courtesy of Church News.All rights reserved.

Montpelier resident Claudia Fitch made several trips from Berlin to Marshfield and Cabot with a truck loaded with supplies.

“It was amazing to see the look of relief on faces as they reached for shovels and rakes we were unloading,” she said. “Every town coordinator was grateful for anything we had to offer — from water and food kits, box fans or shop vacs.”

One resident, after welcoming Church volunteers into her home, quietly said, “Jesus is in the room.”

Hundreds of cases of water and other supplies are gathered at the Montpelier Vermont Stake Center to be donated to local residents, communities and volunteer organizations after flooding in the area, Wednesday, July 19, 2023. Photo by Gabriel LaJeunesse, courtesy of Church News.All rights reserved.

Around 200 more members of the Church from Bangor, Maine; Albany, New York; Springfield, Massachusetts; Nashua, New Hampshire; and Blackstone Valley, Rhode Island, arrived last weekend to volunteer in the clean-up effort as well.

Residents shared their heartfelt appreciation for the donated supplies and for the Church’s assistance, acknowledging the significant impact that the volunteers made in the recovery efforts.

Kristen LaJeunesse, director of communication and public affairs for the Church in Northern New England, contributed to this report.

Copyright 2023 Deseret News Publishing Company.

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