Preparing to Help Others

Photo Credit: Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Family Services specialist Paul Garrett plays hand games with Haitian children in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Part of relief efforts is to provide children with meaningful activities during times of disaster.

I'm going to be featuring several guest posts over the next while. They are a grab bag of ideas from my family members. We grew up in a home where my parents made having their food storage a priority. Preparedness is one of those righteous traditions that each child is now trying to perpetuate. I'm so thankful for my parent's goodness and example.

These thoughts are from my Mom:

"After watching all of the Haiti disasters and trials AND giving the Visiting Teaching message on self-reliance, I had a thought run through my mind. I got thinking about “work." I see all those (Haitian) people standing around and know that sometimes things are getting tense there – and they would be with me if I was starving. But (even) after they have received food and water, many are still just waiting. My thought is how much better they would feel, how much stress could be released, and tensions eased if they had something to do to contribute to making things better. I know that they are in need of big trucks and equipment, but is there not something they could be doing – removing the smaller pieces of cement, helping to clear the roads, digging down to restore the water, etc.?

"I suspect that there are many who are doing works of service – but my most important question is for us. We have our 72-hour kits. If we are able to get them and all of our family members to a place of safety – then what would be our plan? Would we be just sitting and waiting for someone to call out the next move? Is it possible that we need to have some plans in place – besides those of ward, city, stake, etc. – that we can take action upon? Is it possible that we need to store some shovels, saws and other tools (not electric tools) near doors in our garage or house that we could (easily) get and go out and make a difference. I noticed in the Church News this morning an article about one of the church humanitarian agents who was playing games with the children so the children would not be wondering aimlessly. What is it that we individually could do to help even though we were a victim in a disaster?"

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