Photo Essay

Mormonism in Pictures: Oklahoma Tornado Cleanup

In today's Mormonism in Pictures, we feature photos from Moore, Oklahoma, following last week's EF-5 tornado, the deadliest tornado to hit the United States in two years. Church volunteers are working with local agencies and other volunteer groups to assist in disaster relief efforts across the affected areas.

Moore Okla park

Yellow Mormon Helping Hands shirts dot a park in Moore. Working with the city of Moore, Church leaders sent hundreds of volunteers to neighborhoods and parks to clean up debris and remove fallen trees on Sunday, 26 May 2013. More than 2,300 members of the Church and their neighbors donned the familiar Mormon Helping Hands shirts to assist in cleanup and relief to tornado victims over the Memorial Day weekend.

Moore Okla Playground

Volunteers clean up twisted metal and other debris at a children’s playground in Moore, Oklahoma. The American flag was seen in many areas of devastation as a symbol of unity and determination of the victims and those assisting in relief efforts.

Moore Okla Mercy Chefs

Missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints help a Mercy Chef volunteer load 500 gourmet meals for delivery to volunteers in Moore. Mercy Chefs is a Baptist charity organization that prepared 500 gourmet meals for Mormon Helping Hands volunteers and other church groups aiding in the cleanup efforts.

Moore Okla Church of God

Volunteers from various faiths work side-by-side to clear rubble from tornado devastation in a Moore, Oklahoma, neighborhood on Sunday.

Moore Okla wheelbarrow

A Mormon Helping Hands volunteer checks out equipment provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at a Church building-turned-command-center in Moore.

Moore Okla raking

Latter-day Saint volunteers work to clear debris and fallen trees in a park in Moore. The Church has worked with the city of Moore and other relief groups to coordinate relief and cleanup efforts. Mormon Helping Hands volunteers worked an estimated 14,000 hours over the Memorial Day weekend. 

Moore Okla Missionaries

Church missionaries help clear fallen trees at a park on Saturday. Around 200 missionaries from the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Mission were eager to serve in cleanup efforts over the Memorial Day weekend in areas affected by the tornado.

Moore Okla rubble

Mormon Helping Hands volunteers worked with others to clear rubble and help search for belongings in homes decimated by the tornado on Monday, 20 May 2013.

Moore Okla kids in field

Volunteers clear debris in a field across from a Moore hospital caught in the violent path of the tornado.

Moore Okla Operation Blessing

Mormon Helping Hands volunteers worked with Operation Blessing, one of many groups coming together for a common cause, to clear the rubble from Bennie Banning’s home and search for her belongings. Her house was completely destroyed when the tornado struck.

Moore Okla Banning

Bennie Banning is emotional as she watches scores of Mormon Helping Hands and Operation Blessing volunteers clear debris and search for belongings on her property on Saturday. “I can’t believe that people have this much compassion and love for total strangers,” she said. “It’s amazing. I look at them and I just cry. … I thank God… for sending these people to help me.”

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