Summarized by Kent Larsen
LDS Church Volunteers Aid Tornado Victims
Atlanta GA Journal & Constitution 27Feb00 D1
By Bill Osinski: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
CAMILLA, GEORGIA -- More than 100 LDS volunteers joined as many as
300 others Saturday to help clean up the neighborhoods destroyed by a
tornado that swept through Camilla on Valentine's Day. The tornado
killed 18 and injured about 200. More than 450 homes were destroyed.
The project, called "Disaster Saturday," involved people from all
Bishp Fred Lewis, who coordinated the work of the LDS volunteers told
the Atlanta Journal &Constitution that the labor was a demonstration
of faith, "Anybody can say they believe," he said, "but it takes
going out and doing good works to make faith come alive." He also
said that the volunteers made the work a matter of prayer when it
became clear that they didn't have enough heavy equipment. On
Saturday morning, the needed equipment was there.
A "regional meeting" of LDS leaders was posponed so that the leaders
could come and work also, according to Lewis. LDS Church leaders
first came to Camilla after the tornado to help church members who
had suffered in the tornado. But they were shocked to see the extent
of the devastation, and decided to do more, "It's one of our
principles that we're not just responsible for the members of our
church, we're responsible for everyone," he said.
Lewis also said that the volunteers didn't come to get gratitude, "We
can't wait for these people to ask for help. They have
so many other things pressing on them. We just have to come and do something."