Shining Service

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“Shining Service,” New Era, Sept. 2012, 42

Shining Service

youth at community run

Photographs courtesy of Melanie Garcia

On a cold but beautifully sunny day last March, youth from one Texas ward volunteered in their community’s benefit run to help raise awareness for colon cancer. The young men and women were put in charge of providing directions and handing out bottled water and bananas to the runners and walkers. The young men and women also released hundreds of balloons to start the race and to mark the run’s halfway point. “I loved seeing how happy the runners and walkers were when they saw us cheering them on and seeing 300 balloons fill the sky as we let them go,” says Thomas G., a deacon who helped out.

The Latter-day Saint youth were easy to spot since they all wore special volunteer shirts that read, “Arise & Shine Forth Volunteer 2012.” The event’s coordinator spoke highly of the youth and their willingness to serve, saying, “I couldn’t have done this event without the ‘Arise & Shine Forth’ volunteers.”

Rachael D., one of the Laurels at the event, summed up the experience saying, “It felt like we were standing out and making a difference in our own lives and other people’s lives. A lot of people had a blue event shirt, but ours had our Mutual theme on it. I felt like I was wearing a banner that said, ‘I stand up and help where I can and whenever I can.’”