Every woman in the LDS church over the age of 18 belongs to the Relief Society, an organization formed with the express purpose of relieving the men working on the Nauvoo temple. Throughout its history the women of the Relief Society have engaged in numerous relief efforts in times of tragedy and difficulty, from small to very large scales. During WWI, the Relief Society sold wheat that had been stored up for a time of emergency to the US government to support the war effort. So, when flooding struck southern Indiana, who did the stake ask to volunteer for clean up efforts?
The Elders and the Youth.
Not that it's a big deal that they didn't ask the women to help. I wasn't offended that the email request was only sent to the EQ when I heard about the request from a neighbor in the ward. Most of the assistance that was required was rather physical, so it makes sense that you'd want men doing a lot of it, and frequently women would need to find sitters or make arrangements for the care of children. Really, for a ward as young as this one it's a bit of a sacrifice on the part of the sisters anyway to give up their husbands for a weekend, surrendering the precious couple of days a family typically gets to spend together for the sake of strangers many miles away.
I was a little ticked when the wife of the man coordinating the stake's efforts came into RS today and asked us all where we were and why none of the women had volunteered. I'm quite sure if they had requested our help we would have shown up, but nothing was said to the women, and I suspect we all know that, especially in an emergency situation, it's actually rather irresponsible to just show up and try to help. If the people coordinating efforts don't know you're coming, you'll likely be more of a hindrance than a help. Just makes me think about ECS's post over at FMH. Maybe I should go over there now and share my thoughts...