Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often inadvertently referred to as the Mormon Church) have great programs in place to help them serve the community. One of the most noteworthy programs is Mormon Helping Hands. Mormon Helping Hands reaches out to poor and struggling communities and provides volunteers to help accomplish community projects. One of the most recent Mormon Helping Hands took place in Rancho Santa Margarita, California.
Working together as families and friends
On April 27, 2013, families from all over southern California came to volunteer with Mormon Helping Hands. Men, women, and children donned the yellow vests and went to work on a landscaping project and a food drive. Parents brought their children with them, which made this day of service a wonderful family opportunity. Adult volunteers worked on applying mulch to a dog park, planting decorative plants by a parking lot, and repainting park benches. Youth and children volunteers collected food and hygiene items from neighbors and brought them to a local LDS chapel as part of a food drive for Second Harvest Food Bank.
On this one Saturday family members of all sizes had the opportunity to connect with others in the community. Through this service, parents not only taught their children about the value of hard work, but they also taught them the value of reaching out to those in need and the importance of connecting to your community.
Mormon Helping Hands provided 191 volunteers, who served for a collective 287 hours. The community project coordinator, Cary Haine, said he had a hard time finding something for everyone to do. The food drive was a huge success, greatly exceeding its donation goal.
Mormons value community involvement
Mormon Helping Hands is an organization that provides mutually beneficial service. Not only do the communities in need receive the work and help they need, but the volunteers themselves have the opportunity to connect with the community and live out those values they learn at home and at church. The volunteers in southern California did a great work that day, because not only did they help complete needed community projects, but they also acted as shining representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ.
Charlotte graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree in English, with an emphasis in editing. During her education she interned with the Neal A.Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, BYU Publications, and the New Era magazine. Charlotte currently lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and son. She's a stay-at-home-mom and has been able to keep up her writing through maintaining a personal blog (smallandtrivial.blogspot.com).