The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) gathered up emergency supplies before Hurricane Sandy made landfall. Food, water, blankets, hygiene kits, shovels, tarps, cleaning supplies, and chainsaws have been made available to affected communities.

Missionaries serving in the New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, as well as local Church members, are helping with the cleanup and distribution of supplies. Sunday services in those areas were shortened to allow more time for humanitarian service.

In Pennsylvania, more than 60 missionaries helped clear downed trees. More than 1,500 meals were distributed this weekend, and a Red Cross service center in Allentown was staffed by members of the LDS Church.

A Catholic church in Red Hook, New Jersey, was cleaned up following flooding so that needed food and other supplies could be distributed. Another flooded Catholic church on Coney Island was cleared this weekend.

Members in Washington, D.C., Connecticut, and other areas are collecting warm coats, shoes, and winter clothing to distribute to stricken locations. Mormon Helping Hands volunteers are also mobilizing to provide cleanup assistance.  – by Lynn Parsons