Perry Christensen of Flower Mound clears house debris in Canton.
The East Texas town of Canton is still reeling after tornadoes tore through its streets on April 29. In assisting the ongoing endeavor to rebuild the lives of those affected, a group of more than 30 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Lewisville Stake spent their Saturday cleaning up debris.
One of the family’s assisted was that of a retired firefighter in Canton, who experienced devastating damage to their 5-acre property, including losing their home. Many labored a combined 180 man-hours to clean up the house site, remove downed trees and dismantle a horse barn.
“We know its not easy recovering from this and we are hoping that our service will make an impact,” said Beaumont Law, 17, a Flower Mound resident and senior at the Lewisville Learning Center.
“There’s no other way I would rather spend my day than by serving others. When they saw us coming, they lit up with joy. It was really nice to be able to help someone in need.”
Kari Twitchell of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Flower Mound 1st ward and Sylvia Konrath of Lamb of God Lutheran Church combined efforts in the Canton tornado cleanup, Saturday, May 20.
In a combined effort, Flower Mound’s Lamb of God Lutheran Church worked alongside the group and provided lunch to the volunteers.
“It was a humbling experience to drive through the destruction,” said Stephanie Boyd of Lewisville. “We spent the day helping these sweet families clearing away the rubble, listening to their survival stories and praying with them.”
The group was part of Mormon Helping Hands, a program organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that provides community service and disaster relief to those in need.
“There is 10 times the amount of work still needed to be done for the Tyler and Canton areas,” said Kip Twitchell of Flower Mound. “It will take years to clean up.”
“My heart goes out to these families; they need more help desperately,” said Boyd. “From an author who lost all her writings to a first time mama due in September, they were overwhelmed, but full of hope and gratitude.”
Mormon Helping Hands and volunteers from Flower Mound, Lewisville and surrounding areas are organizing additional visits to Canton in the coming weeks. If you are interested in joining the disaster relief efforts, please contact Kip Twitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.