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"Not to be alone at this time is a very important thing": Religious group lends hope

Volunteers in yellow shirts from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are sparking hope cleaning up more than 160 homes in only a couple of weeks. Saturday, several teams helped homeowners in Socastee. (Taggart Houck/WPDE)

As homeowners in Horry County continue to clean out, chances are, you've seen disaster relief from different parts of the region, and other sections of the country, offering free help to people in need.

For the last couple of weeks, hundreds of people from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have visited more than 160 homes, helping out with just about anything from tree trimming to completely gutting homes.

"A lot of people are alone out there, trying to make it work all by themselves," said Steve Davis, a volunteer with the group. "To have other people show up and give them help and give them a hug and just for them not to be alone this time is a very important thing."

About 500 volunteers have been sleeping in tents outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Conway. They come from Surfside Beach and Conway, but even as far away as Arizona and Utah.

Together, they load trucks full of supplies to help gut homes at a time this community needs it most. It's anything from food and water to equipment. They handle just about every level of cleanup.

"They always say, 'You know, God doesn't give you more than you can handle,' but I don't know. He must think we're some really bad people," said Jennifer Mayfield, with a light smile. Mayfield lives in Rosewood, but during flooding, her home took on five feet of water. She said that's twice as much as it did during Hurricane Matthew, which took her nine months to recover.

"The adjuster said we had to tear it completely out. Completely gut it all the way to the studs, windows, floors, everything and just rebuild it from scratch," she said.

She said it's hard to see what used to be home.

"Right now, it's pretty much total devastation."

Saturday, she said she was thankful for Weston Innes and his crew, mostly made of young adults from Utah.

They spent the day tearing out the walls, stripping the entire home and putting it on the curb, even the kitchen sink.

"I just feel like they really are following in the footsteps of the savior in helping those in need," said Innes.

Piece by piece, they're forging bonds along the way.

"They kinda feel like family now," said Mayfield, laughing.

If you need assistance cleaning your home, contact the Hurricane Florence Home Cleanup Hotline.

Click the link here or call 1-800-451-1954.



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