I’m so excited that our church leaders have invited church members worldwide to participate in an annual day of service! We’ll be commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Church’s welfare program. Here is the advice President Eyring gave during the April 2011 Conference:
I will make three suggestions as you plan your service project[:]
First, prepare yourself and those you lead spiritually. Only if hearts are softened by the Savior’s Atonement can you see clearly the goal of the project as blessing both spiritually and temporally the lives of the children of Heavenly Father.
My second suggestion is to choose as recipients of your service people within the kingdom or in the community whose needs will touch the hearts of those who will give the service. The people they serve will feel their love. That may do more to make them feel glad, as the song promised, than will meeting only their temporal needs.
My last suggestion is to plan to draw on the power of the bonds of families, of quorums, of auxiliary organizations, and of people you know in your communities. The feelings of unity will multiply the good effects of the service you give. And those feelings of unity in families, in the Church, and in communities will grow and become a lasting legacy long after the project ends. (Opportunities to do Good April 2011 General Conference, Elder Eyring
There is no limit to what church members can do to serve others! In recent years our Stake has sponsored a 5k run to support the local food bank. The cost to participate is one canned food item, with many people donating much more. It’s been a very successful community event.
One branch in Mississippi cleaned up a small cemetary for their Day of Service activity last year. Members cleaned tombstones, pulled weeds, cut grass, and planted flowers . If you sponsored a similar project, you could even document names of those buried in the cemetery. Members of every age and ability can participate. You can use the names for a later temple trip or submit a spreadsheet of the names to Find a Grave or to the temple.
Following are several more links you can use for ideas to plan your day of service activity:
- Service Project Ideas from our extensive lists. Hundreds of ideas.
- LDS Humanitarian Services’ list of ways to help
- Service ideas from LDS.about.com
- 148 Service project ideas from the Idea Door
- History of Mormon Helping Hands from LDS.org – The day of service originated in South America over a decade ago.
Get Inspired by others
Here are some examples of what other members have done:
- 10,000 Idaho members participate in service project
- Mormons in Mongolia unload wheelchairs
- Mormons in California clean up State Parks
- Mormons in New Zealand donate over 15,000 hours of service to community
- Australian Mormons Rennovate Community Sports Club – “like a backyard blitz just unfolding before your eyes with an amazing transformation “
- ‘Stormin’ Mormons’ provide food, , clean up, aid to hurricane victims
- More than one month’s work completed in one day by Mormon volunteers in the UK
This commemorative Day of Service has the potential to be a great blessing in the lives of those who serve and those who are served. I can’t wait to hear what you’re planning in your area! Please share your Day of Service plans in the comments below!
If you’re mentioned in the local paper, please post a link in the comments below so others can be inspired by your efforts!