Humanitarian Outreach: Hurricane Isaac Relief Efforts
By Dena Brett and David Winters, Church News contributors
Roughly 200 members of the Roswell Georgia Stake answered the call to help Hurricane Isaac victims on September 1. Church members and community members joined together at the bishops’ storehouse in Tucker, Georgia, on short notice, to package 2,000 boxes of food for Hurricane Isaac victims.
Each box of food contained necessities sufficient to feed a family of four for three or four days.
“This is what the gospel is all about,” said Joanne Mills, Roswell Georgia Stake Young Women president. “As I talk with those around me here at the storehouse, we are just grateful for the opportunity to be providing service to those in need.”
Scott Mower, second counselor in the Roswell Georgia Stake presidency, also expressed gratitude. “We sent an email message out during the middle of the week, asking for 100 volunteers to provide a half-day of service on a holiday weekend. Twice that number showed up, and everyone here feels blessed to be in a position to help those in need in the New Orleans area. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been impacted by this storm.”
Once the boxes of food were filled, a truck was loaded and sent to Louisiana. All 66,000 pounds of food will be distributed directly to those impacted by the storm.
“There is truly a great need by those who are suffering, poor, fatherless, or widowed,” said Elder William Pixton, manager of the storehouse in Tucker. “Our purpose here is Christ’s mission, to care for them. We are happy to help those affected by Hurricane Isaac.”
James Mallory and Paul Hainey of Stone Mountain volunteer regularly in the Church’s welfare complex and counted themselves lucky to be there Saturday to help Hurricane Isaac victims.
Brother Mallory has been working on Saturdays for a year and a half. “It’s such a great thing to see, a day like today, everyone helping others out,” he said.
Brother Hainey, who is retired, has served two missions at the storehouse. “It’s not a burden to serve, it’s a pleasure,” he said.
When asked how such a project could be completed so quickly and efficiently, Elder Pixton said, “We always have plenty of volunteers. People are excited to help.”
He added, “Today, the Roswell congregations were asked to provide 100 volunteers to package and load in two shifts between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. By 7:30 a.m., there were 196 volunteers who completed the work in an hour and a half. The trucks were loaded and ready by 9:00 a.m. to head out to Slidell, Louisiana, to be distributed.”
Those trucks will be reloaded several times and distributed to various locations around the Gulf Coast for the next couple of weeks.
“Along with supplies, plans are being put in place for relief and repair parties from Church units in Jackson and Hattiesburg, Mississippi, as well as Monroe, Louisiana,” said John Hopkins, field manager of Bishops’ Storehouse Services for the North America Southeast Area. “Leaders in Georgia will be notified at a meeting later this week if their congregations are needed to help.”