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LDS Church members volunteer to help California fire victims

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Several hundred Latter-day Saints and community members gather at a warehouse in Oroville, California, to package and distribute food and supplies to those impacted by a deadly wildfire that heavily damaged Paradise, California. Photo taken November 17, 2018. ©2018 BY INTELLECTUAL RESERVE, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

(KUTV) -- Hundreds of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spent their weekend preparing food and hygiene kits for victims of the deadliest and most destructive fire in California's history.

Members of the Gridley California Stake on Saturday filled 5,000 food boxes and 5,000 personal hygiene kits for survivors of the Camp Fire, which destroyed most of the town of Paradise, California.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced as a result of the fire.

The supplies, including towels, and toiletries, were donated by the LDS Church to aid the victims.

“It’s amazing,” said Oroville mayor Linda Dahlmeier. “This word was put out last night and this is what we have today.”

"It warms my heart,” added Keith Stutznegger, a Latter-day Saint who helped recruit people to join the service project. “This is what the Savior wants people to do is help others. It’s what it’s all about."

LDS teens also joined in the efforts to help others, including 15-year-old Rosa Howald.

“I have friends up there, and I know a lot of people that just lost their homes,” Howald said as she filled a box of food. “I know just this little bit will help.”

95% of LDS members of one Paradise congregation lost their homes, including Gretchen Harrison and her husband Robert Harrison, who is the congregation's bishop.

“There were times when we were evacuating that I didn’t know if we were all going to make it back together again,” Gretchen Harrison said.

Paradise resident Beth Brogden stopped by the LDS meetinghouse to get supplies for her family and friends.

“We all had to get out so quickly we didn’t have time to empty our houses,” Brogden said in tears.

President Trump toured the fire damage earlier this week.




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