Over 5,000 members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their neighbors joined together on Saturday in a nationwide day of service to improve and beautify neighborhoods.
Wearing yellow “Mormon Helping Hands” vests, men, women and youngsters painted bus shelters and schools, repaired fences, built playgrounds, cleaned waterways and parks, planted trees and weeded gardens.
The multiple-project, countrywide event was organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in association with local government councils and other community groups.
Volunteer teams in Auckland painted the Glenfield Presbyterian Church and Takapuna Girl Guide Hall, landscaped the Yendarra Kindergarten, and renovated the Hindu Heritage Trust property in Mangere.
“This is not the first time ‘Mormon Helping Hands’ volunteers have donned their vests,” said Elder Spencer Condie, the Church’s area president in the New Zealand/Pacific Islands Area. “But it is the first ever nationwide campaign organized by the Church.”
Other projects included renovating a building that serves as a soup kitchen for the homeless, giving blood, sorting and repairing books at schools and libraries and assembling emergency kits for people affected by natural disasters.
In the city of Hamilton, “Mormon Helping Hands” volunteers joined forces with the New Zealand police and other residents to remove graffiti and haul away garbage at a local community center.
“‘Mormon Helping Hands’ is a worldwide service arm of the Church that unites New Zealand Latter-day Saints with their communities,” Elder Condie said.