PROSPER — Over 100 Prosper area residents join thousands of Mormon Helping Hands volunteers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Houston at the commencement of the massive Harvey cleanup effort.
Towering piles of moldy drywall, insulation, carpet and furniture currently line the neighborhood streets of Houston, awaiting removal. Much progress has already been made, but thousands of homes still remain to be mucked out.
Scores of locals have mobilized to help. Approximately 2,000 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers from the Dallas area joined others from Austin, San Antonio and parts of Louisiana in Houston to muck out flooded homes. Combined with the Houston area volunteers, 10,000 total volunteers were estimated to have served in Houston neighborhoods on Saturday, Sept. 9 and Sunday, Sept. 10. Elder Jay B. Jones, Area Seventy of the Church and leader of the 2,000 Dallas area volunteers, said, “There is so much work to be done and we are grateful to be a small part of the tremendous effort by so many to help those in the path of the storm. After a weekend of work, our bodies are tired and sore, but our hearts and spirits are lifted.”
Though flood damage is extensive, human goodness permeates the atmosphere in devastated Houston. Prosper resident Brent Argyle, a regional leader in the Church who headed the Mormon Helping Hands group of 123 from the Prosper, Frisco and Aubrey areas said, “My heart was heavy as I drove down the streets and entered homes where families have lost everything. However, as we were able to serve and get to know these people, there was an overwhelming sense of love.”
Help continues to pour in. 3,000 volunteers from the Dallas area are expected in Southeast Texas each weekend in September. Regarding the effort, Elder Jones said, “In Matthew 11, the Savior said, ‘Take my yoke upon you … for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.’ One way the Lord lightens our burdens is by having others share the load.” And Houstonians are grateful for the relief.
“This is just amazing to me,” said resident Je’neal Roland, whose house was mucked out on Saturday by a local team from Aubrey. “God has sent angels.”