KATY (Covering Katy News) – Hurricane Harvey struck one year ago and there are still many Katy families who have not fully recovered. It was with this in mind that hundreds of volunteers from Mormon Helping Hands reached out to the residents of the Canyon Gate community and spent hours Saturday helping to complete some of the outside work that many homeowners just haven’t been able to get to yet.
Much of the work was dirty, hot and exhausting. Fences were torn down and rebuilt, old trees were removed, weeds were pulled and mulch was spread to beautify the area.
For Annice and Amos Reed, the team of volunteers that tore out and built a new fence in their backyard brought hope and help at the end of a very difficult year. Having moved back into their home just three weeks ago, the outside work felt overwhelming. With the past year spent getting the inside of their home in a livable condition, the Reeds needed help tackling the outside.
“Words can’t express how grateful we are for the help and support these volunteers gave us,” Annice Reed said. “Thank you for bringing us back,” she added.
Derek Brown and his family volunteered to do repairs on Reed’s home. Reed worked with his wife and three daughters.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to serve together as a family,” Brown said. “My girls developed a sense of purpose and satisfaction for what they were doing. They put away their objections and exhaustion for 5 hours. I saw them work, sweat and serve out of love for Amos and Annice who were so gracious and kind. My heart was so incredibly touched by their gestures of concern and appreciation for us. We built a fence but she and her husband strengthened our souls.”
About 700 people signed up to volunteer wherever they were needed at Canyon Gate. Those who were unable to work outside assembled 200 hygiene kits for use by Katy Christian Ministries, as well as packing rice and beans. Other volunteers went to Krause Children’s Center to paint, scrub grout and stain the deck. Some made cards to give to the residents of Grace Care Center. Even the littlest of children were able to serve by coloring lunch bags for Lunches of Love and placemats for Texas Children’s Hospital.
Mormon Helping Hands is a program of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. During Hurricane Harvey, on several weekends there were over 16,000 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers working in the Houston area. Dressed in yellow shirts, volunteers provided help to anyone who needed assistance, regardless of faith or background.
“Over the past year, our neighbors have been through great hardship as a result of Hurricane Harvey, and they are still recovering,” said President Tim Morris, leader of 3,000 Church members in Katy. “We were blessed to be here to assist last year, and we wanted them to know we are still here and we still care. As followers of Christ, it is wonderful to be able to offer our time, energy, and love as Christ would do,” Morris said.
Numerous local leaders were also at Saturday’s event. The Fort Bend County Sherriff’s Office landed one of its helicopters at the event. Sheriff Troy Nehls emerged from the chopper to applause. The video is below. Constable Wayne Thompson was also there.
See photos and video below.