News Story

Mormon Volunteers Distribute 10,000 Cleaning Kits to Flood Victims

Thousands of volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put on waterproof boots, heavy gloves and yellow “Mormon Helping Hands” shirts this weekend to clean up homes and farms in Lewis County devastated by floods.

Trucks left Salt Lake City last week carrying over 10,000 cleaning kits to be used in the weekend-long relief efforts. The kits, packed in a reusable bucket, contain rubber gloves, brushes, sponges, rags, trash bags and cleansers.

“You can’t find a mop in stores in Lewis County — they’re all sold out,” said Norman Hansen, a local Church leader. “The cleaning kits will help volunteers and flood victims begin the process of restoring their homes. We’ll go door-to-door this weekend and offer assistance in any way we can.”

Church leaders put out a call for volunteers last Thursday to take part in the Mormon Helping Hands project — a designation used for relief efforts worldwide. Over 3,000 people — with some coming from as far as Seattle and Vancouver, Washington — spent Friday and Saturday in Centralia and Chehalis neighborhoods delivering cleaning kits and offering cleanup assistance to anyone who needed it.

“A lot of the homes are absolutely covered with mud,” noted Scott Turner, a local Church leader in Chehalis. Homes he visited had up to three feet of water, but he commented that the “people are optimistic.”

In addition to the cleaning kits, the Church donated 1,000 hygiene kits, 1,000 blankets and 200 sleeping bags, which were made available at two Latter-day Saint chapels in Lewis County that the Red Cross has designated as shelters.

Church leaders in Washington have organized another large-scale cleanup effort for this coming weekend.

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