Several religious and other charity groups work together in Oklahoma tornado cleanup effort

There’s a lot to like about this news report. I love how several volunteer groups, including Mormon Helping Hands, the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Baptist charity groups and other organizations were working together to help the people in Oklahoma after the recent tornado. Also just seeing people care enough to voluntarily give their time and money in service for their neighbors strengthens my faith in society and inspires me to want to do the same. These are people of faith putting their time and money where their prayers are.


“…an estimated 2,500 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers assisted their neighbors over the Memorial Day weekend, working an estimated 15,000 hours. In several neighborhoods, Church volunteers worked shoulder-to-shoulder with other groups to assist tornado victims in a common effort.

“The focus of who we are in terms of wanting to give service to our fellow man really binds us together as a community,” said local Church leader, Kevin Graves. “You see people of great faith and a lot of love for their fellow being regardless of their religious denomination.”

…volunteer Carlos Coronado said all of the groups were helping together because they believe in following the example of Christ.

..Baptist charity Mercy Chefs served meals to the hungry including Mormon Helping Hands volunteers working in different parts of the devastation. The charity is made up of professional chefs who donate their time to prepare hot gourmet meals for victims and volunteers.

…When around 40 Church missionaries clad in Mormon Helping Hands vests and tee-shirts arrived on their property, Karen Johnston was overwhelmed with relief. “I was like, oh my… the army is here! The army in the yellow shirts!” she said.

A little while later, a group from the Journey Church from Norman, Oklahoma and the Fellowship church out of Dallas, Texas came to help too. Soon the “army of yellow shirts” was mixed with an army of people wearing red tee-shirts, all working together.

Pastor Andy Boyd said there are churches and faith-based groups all working for a greater cause to help people like Mark and Karen. “It’s not telling them the gospel it’s showing it to them,” said Pastor Boyd.”

On a few occasions I’ve heard people say something to the effect of, mormons spend a lot of time and money building temples and doing missionary work, why doesn’t your church do something to help the needy? Resisting the urge to blurt out, “we do!” and pull out a stat sheet, my better response is this, let’s work together and do more to help because there’s a lot of people who are in need, and not just people who are suffering from natural disasters, and not just people who need monetary assistance. All of these groups have given us a tremendous example of how to do it.


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