In the Spotlight
July 2001

“In the Spotlight,” Ensign, July 2001, 77

In the Spotlight

Members Help Protect Community from Flooding

When the Mississippi River and the Minnesota River reached record levels in April, members from five stakes in the St. Paul-Minneapolis Minnesota area helped protect their community. Over a period of two weeks, some 500 Church volunteers logged thousands of hours sandbagging, repairing, and monitoring dikes and levees to keep the rivers in their banks. “State emergency services quickly learned they could call on the Church for hundreds of volunteers,” said David Durfey, second counselor in the Burnville Minnesota Stake presidency.

Even on Easter Sunday, when flooding threatened to destroy a large Army National Guard headquarters and hangar at a local airport, many Latter-day Saints joined with members of a Jewish volunteer group to sandbag. “We received a request from the state at 1:00 P.M., and within a few hours over 150 members had shown up at the site, many of them staying until 10:00 P.M. to fill about 20,000 sandbags,” said President Durfey. “It was so touching that these families and individuals would spend Easter Sunday serving in this way.”

Air Guard captain Jeff Merricks was grateful for the help. “I would not have been able to save this building without the support of the volunteers,” he said.

Salvation Army and Church Send Aid to Ukraine

The Salvation Army and the Church teamed up in April to send more than $100,000 worth of aid to Ukrainian orphanages and senior citizens. The Salvation Army provided 209 boxes filled with new clothing, medical supplies, and laundry and hand soap, and the Church contributed flour, beans, dry milk, hygiene kits, quilts, and blankets.