Thousands Participate in U.S. Day of Service
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“Thousands Participate in U.S. Day of Service,” Ensign, August 2009, 79

Around the Church

Thousands Participate in U.S. Day of Service

Members on both ends of the United States organized a Day of Service on April 25, 2009, when tens of thousands of Latter-day Saints, along with friends and neighbors, donated their time, their money, and their talents to their communities.

Interfaith volunteers stocked shelves, painted fences, picked up trash, donated blood, planted gardens, assembled emergency kits, served food, and constructed homes in their communities, among other projects.

Working under the umbrella of Mormon Helping Hands, stakes and wards across the nation organized various service projects in their areas.

The 96 stakes in the North America Southeast Area joined with people from various communities to serve while, thousands of miles away, Southern California reported approximately 25,000 volunteers from Bakersfield to the Mexican border.

“It’s powerful when like-minded people join together to meet a wide spectrum of needs in diverse communities. We can bring help and hope to others no matter what their circumstances,” said Elder Walter F. González of the Presidency of the Seventy, who helped oversee volunteer efforts in the southeast area of the United States.

Elder González challenged more than 665 congregations from the southeastern states to join with other service organizations and municipalities to serve in what was named “The Helping Hands and Linking Arms Project.”

Meanwhile, in Southern California, yellow-vested volunteers served under the Mormon Helping Hands banner of “Community Service, Making Our Communities a Better Place.”

The North America West Area reported approximately 50,000 total hours of service in the one-day concentrated effort.

“It was a phenomenal success and very, very well received,” said Elder John C. Dalton, North America West Area Seventy. “We were pleased to do it.”

Members of the Searcy Ward, North Little Rock Arkansas Stake, joined with members of the community to help clean a cemetery behind a Methodist meetinghouse from 1857 that is undergoing restoration.

Photography by Ronnie A. Busbea