Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Helping Hands gives back to EKY following floods

WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 6 p.m. on Saturday
Published: Aug. 20, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT
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WYMT Mountain News Weekend Edition newscast at 11 p.m. on Saturday

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and their volunteer group, Helping Hands, have organized two command centers in Eastern Kentucky. One in Hazard and another in the city of Martin in Floyd County.

The church has brought more than 1,000 volunteers to assist with flood clean-up and other tasks following the historic floods that impacted Eastern Kentucky three weeks ago.

“We’re working all day today and we’ll work half a day tomorrow, go back to our homes,” said Glen Krebs, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ Lexington, Ky. Stake, “and another crew of the same size will be back next Friday work all day Saturday and half a day Sunday.”

These volunteers came from neighboring states such as West Virginia, Tennessee, and Ohio, as well as from Central and Western Kentucky, and are camping in tents on church grounds or in community parks, bringing in their own tools, and remaining as self-sufficient as possible over the next two weekends.

“Most of the supplies and most everything that the individuals are using, they’re bringing on their own, and they’re really here to work,” said Gary Mangelson, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ Columbus, Ohio North Stake. “They’re going to be working all day today on Saturday and through Sunday as well.”

Officials from local churches say they are overwhelmed with the support during this troubling time.

“I couldn’t believe it when I pulled up to see all these people,” said Kent Dingus, Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’ Martin, Ky. Ward. “It just brings tears to your eyes and we just need to do those things to help others.”

Officials in Floyd County also visited the Martin Command Center and spoke to church officials about needs in the community. Adding that approximately 90% of affected homes and businesses in Floyd County are beyond the clean-up stage and ready to begin the rebuilding process.

“I can’t say enough of what these folks mean to our community,” said Floyd County Deputy Judge-Executive Terry Spurlock. “I mean, from day one when it happened, till now, till next weekend, and I’m sure they’ll be here the next time, so yeah, I mean, I just can’t thank them enough.”

Church officials added that, if you do need help, visit and submit a work order request, enter your needs, and the Church or another organization can reach out to help.