Good News: Mormon Helping Hands

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - The impact of Hurricane Matthew is more than a memory for one group of volunteers from Statesboro. It's a continuing call to serve.

"It's never over until we get all the jobs done,'' said Jay Saxson, who heads up a group from the Church of Latter Day Saints in Statesboro that has been helping clean up the yards of people who can't do the work themselves. "I've kind of made it a personal effort to make sure we have a crew, and a lot of these volunteers have been out working with me every weekend.''

That's every weekend for the past three months since Matthew passed through the area, tearing up homes and lives that the Mormon Helping Hands are still helping to put back together.

"There's been a lot of damage, so we've just been taking care of the damage,'' said Saxson. "We tarp people's roofs, remove trees that have fallen, and just help people get their lives back to normal.''

"This group that we have here, we just kept going on,'' added Andy Welch. "We knew there were still some needs and so we kept going. We've had a good core of probably 10 to 15 people every week with the group we come out with, and we have other groups going to other areas.''

Roughly 1,000 volunteers from the Mormon Church have put in an estimated 17,000 man hours during the volunteer cleanup.

They have come from around the state and from surrounding states, but most stopped weeks ago. The Statesboro group decided to concentrate on the Savannah area after finishing the work in their city.

"Once you get started, it's hard to stop,'' said Welch. "After meeting some of the folks you meet and seeing some of the needs they have, it's hard, especially at this time of year, to stop going. So, we've enjoyed doing it.''

"These people need help,'' added Saxson. "They have nowhere to turn, the insurance is not going to pay, and they would just be stuck with these trees laying in their yard until they basically rotted. So, it's a good way for us to help and give back to the community.''

The volunteers say it's a way to get satisfaction by giving back every weekend until the cleanup work is done.

"If we're truly following Christ,'' said Saxson, "we have to be in service for our fellow man.''

"You find yourself when you're helping others,'' added Welch. "So, we're just grateful for the opportunity to help others.''

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