Many who are still without heat, water, and power following Hurricane Sandy, are looking to the federal government to provide the kind of organized and effective disaster relief that can restore their lives. Can private groups and citizens offer what is needed in this time of crisis?
In Milford, Connecticut, for example, where entire expanses of beach homes have been destroyed by the storm, one family member reports to us that FEMA and the Red Cross were nowhere to be seen. What she did see, however, were “dozens of people in yellow vests helping to gather up all the debris that residents were putting out in the road.” Our observer tells us that these individuals assisted homeowners in clean-up, helping to load town trucks to remove destroyed decks, furniture, siding, and other debris.
Recalling that she saw the same group of people “in yellow vests” helping out after Hurricane Irene last year, she later discovered that the helpers were Mormon Helping Hands volunteers.
The Mormon volunteers consisted of both adults and older children. Our observer tells us that what she noticed about this group is that they were “friendly, very busy, and, yet, unobtrusive.” She comments, “They didn’t get in the way of us getting our cleanup done, but they really helped the overall effort of getting the streets cleaned up.”
"If anyone wonders how people will survive without big government, they need look no further than our beach in Milford. The residents put their heads down and worked, and the Mormon Helping Hands volunteers chipped in big time,” she states.
Let’s thank and give credit due to all private individuals, church, and community groups that are helping those in need in practical, labor-intensive ways. This is the idea that is America in action.