Hundreds of church volunteers help with Matthew cleanup

Hundreds of church volunteers help with Matthew cleanup

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - One local church group is rounding up volunteers from throughout the country to help those still suffering after Hurricane Matthew. You may have seen them out in the Conway and Florence areas cleaning up fallen trees and debris recently.

Joseph Jennings is the president of the Florence Church of Latter-day Saints and says he's seen firsthand the devastation leftover from Hurricane Matthew. With hundreds of people unable to cleanup the mess on their own, these volunteers are offering a helping hand to pick up the pieces.

"I think that whenever you have a disaster like this or something catastrophic, it's really important for communities to come together and to feel that healing together and that unification. Certainly we look out for our families and our church congregations but it's bigger than that. You know, we need to reach out to our communities. And there's a lot of people that are physically not able to take care of these trees, for example, or financially able, whatever the case might be. It's just a wonderful opportunity," said Joseph Jennings.

On a usually quiet street in Conway, a group of volunteers from Atlanta were making some noise Saturday and getting their hands dirty.

"I just thought it would be a really fun opportunity, because this is the first time I've actually gotten to do this," said Will Collett.

The Church of Latter Day Saints in Conway was turned into a home base, where groups were assigned specific homes that needed attention.

"Obviously we're not experts, you know, not professional tree removers. But most things we can handle, and it's just a great opportunity to get involved in the community and to put the needs of others in front of your own," Jennings said.

With more than 900 cleanup projects finished so far, Jennings said there's still plenty of work to be done.

"I've seen so many volunteers and talked to so many volunteers. And they're all so optimistic and just ready to do whatever, whenever, and just ready to move on to the next job site," he said.

Once the trees and flood waters are gone, the next stage will be restoring damaged homes, fixing sheet rock and putting in new carpet.

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