|LDS missionaries and church members organize clothing items to be sent to storm-ravaged New Jersey.|
Following a cross-country request at approximately 2 p.m. Friday, the goods were solicited, then collected, sorted and boxed on Saturday morning at the Menifee chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Hundreds of families brought the needed goods during a narrow two-hour window between 8 and 10 a.m.
Although other groups were willing to help, it was first determined there was no means to deliver goods to the beleaguered residents due to flooded conditions. However, the Church’s local leaders were able to contact their counterparts in the Caldwell Stake (Emerson, N.J. Borough), whose building was being used as a local command center for shelter and recovery efforts in the community. It was decided if deliverable, 50 boxes of goods would be welcome.
Emerson, located near the Hudson River, was inundated by high water during last week’s "super storm," leaving many residents stranded in the upper floors of homes and businesses. Shorter days and cold nights, coupled with the lack of electricity, added to the urgency here.
Word was sent out among Church members and friends to fill specific needs, but the situation was unique.
"We wanted to enlist the help of others through the media, but there was just so little time," said Robert Wilson, president of the Menifee Stake.
Nonetheless, more than double the number of requested boxes of clothing and blankets were readied and a shipping company (Dedicated Logistics) hired that would be able to deliver the donations.
The Menifee Stake is comprised of 13 LDS congregations in the cities of Menifee, Perris, Canyon Lake, Wildomar and Lake Elsinore.