JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Thousands of volunteers gathered Saturday to work with the American Red Cross and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to help cleanup efforts in Northeast Florida following Hurricane Matthew.
Volunteers came from as far away as Miami, Ft Myers and Tampa Bay to be a part of the cleanup effort.
“We help them clean up their house,” volunteer Douglas Carter said. “We (also) help them pull the trees from their yard.”
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints reached out to the Red Cross to help make the cleanup effort possible. Volunteers from the Red Cross started working before Hurricane Matthew hit the area, preparing shelters and making sure people were ready.
“It's just a really good example of how the community is coming together to support recovery efforts,” Red Cross volunteer Victoria Raleigh said.
For some volunteers, seeing the reactions from their efforts and providing a message of hope was as important as the cleanup itself.
“We give people faith that there is still hope (moving) forward,” Carter said. “Sometimes that little message that we give them off to the side is even more important than the work that we do for them.”