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Discussing religion, spirituality and values. Amy Umble is the religion reporter for The Free Lance-Star. You can email her at
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Local Latter-Day Saints provide hurricane relief

Local members of the LDS Church spent two weekends helping victims of Hurricane Sandy.

Members of the Fredericksburg Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have spent several recent weekends helping victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York and New Jersey.

Through the Mormon Helping Hands effort, a group of  57 volunteers spent Thanksgiving weekend in East Brunswick, NJ, Brooklyn at Gerritsen Beach, and the Rockaways.  They cleaned houses and yards, which were severely damaged by the storm which hit the northeast in late October.

The next weekend the stake (a group of congregations, like a diocese), sent 74 volunteers to New York: Freeport, Long Beach, Island Park, Oceanside, Belmore, Long Island and Gerritsen Beach.

These volunteers performed both house and yard work and included several members of stake leadership, Brad Sant, second counselor; LaRene Olbeter, relief society president; and  Heidi Poffenbarger, young woman’s president.

Some 74 Mormons traveled to New York on Dec. 1-2 to help hurricane victims.

On Dec. 8, the stake sent more than 80 volunteers to Breezy Point and Gerritsen Beach, NY.

Photos were provided by Jacalyn Stanley, public relations specialist for the Fredericksburg Stake