Church Providing Relief After Most Recent Oklahoma Tornadoes
June 18, 2013
Elders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints help clear fallen trees at a Moore, Oklahoma park Saturday 25 May 2013. Around 200 Missionaries from the Oklahoma City Oklahoma Mission were eager to serve in cleanup efforts over the Memorial Day weekend in areas affected by the tornado.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is providing relief supplies and volunteers to support communities in Oklahoma affected by five tornadoes that struck near Oklahoma City on Friday, 31 May. These tornadoes, which came just 11 days after a powerful tornado hit Moore on 20 May, have claimed 20 lives. Officials have confirmed 44 tornado-related deaths and more than 500 reported injuries between 20 May and 5 June.
Since 20 May, more than 5,300 Mormon volunteers have assisted with cleanup efforts, providing 34,000 hours of service. The Church continues to work closely with civil authorities and other community organizations to assess damage and determine areas needing assistance.
Relief efforts are expected to continue for the next several weeks.
Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Presidency of the Seventy visited the area from 31 May to 2 June to meet with members, missionaries and public officials.
This important community initiative occurs prior to each Easter and Thanksgiving. Since its inception in 2008, the interfaith coalition has distributed nearly 45,000 meals. This year's Thanksgiving event involves 15 congregations of various faiths and a few other organizations. They join together to feed those who can't feed themselves and offer comfort in a time of need.
More than 200 Mormon missionaries serving in the Philippines Tacloban Mission were displaced by the 8 November 2013 Typhoon Haiyan. All of those missionaries, apart from some who have concluded their mission service, are now filling new assignments in one of 11 other missions in the islands.