The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full report, CLICK HERE.
More than a thousand volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered in Florida on Saturday, September 2, 2023, to help residents in the hard-hit communities along the state’s Big Bend area clean up from Hurricane Idalia
The hurricane hit on the morning of Wednesday, August 30, as a Category 3 storm, and damage to the region is estimated at $9 billion in property loss.
John and Pam Horton’s home in Suwannee, Florida, was devastated by a storm surge of more than five feet that covered most of their possessions in mud. The Hortons evacuated ahead of the storm and rode out the hurricane with family in Georgia. When they returned home, they were overwhelmed by what they found.
“We just didn’t know how we were going to do this by ourselves,” Horton said.
One of the many groups of volunteers came from a congregation in Gainesville, Florida, and included Norman Beatty and his family. The group removed water-logged furniture, mucked out mud and debris from the home, and Beatty climbed on the roof to cut down a tree that had fallen during the storm.
Beatty said he serves because it is what the Savior would do. “This is my community, and these are my brothers and sisters and I love them,” he said.
Other groups of volunteers worked on clearing the many trees that were felled during the storm.
In Fanning Springs, Florida, a group of missionaries joined with Jimmy Perryman, a Latter-day Saint leader from nearby Chiefland, and a handful of his congregation, to remove a very large tree that had fallen across the property of Brad and Lanette Six.
To read the full report, CLICK HERE.