Youth from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Renton, Washington, worked in partnership with Catholic Community Services (CCS) recently to help better the lives of many elderly and disabled people.
The youth, ages 12 through 18, completed more than 1,400 hours of service on 13 different projects throughout the city of Renton. Working with CCS's Kizzie Funkhouser, youth and their adult leaders weeded, cleared and hauled away over 7,500 pounds of yard waste and debris. They painted four homes, a large deck and more than 60 yards of fence. They also repaired plumbing fixtures, cleaned and repaired roofs and cleaned inside several homes.
The service was part of what is called youth conference, where Latter-day Saint youth have the opportunity to serve others and learn through workshops and speakers how to better follow Jesus Christ's example. The conference was focused around the theme Live Strong; Serve Strong; Be Strong.
The youth's actions touched both the youth and the recipients of the service. Any apprehension from those receiving assistance was soon replaced with smiles, laughter, hugs of appreciation and friendship. One recipient, Betty Chapman, wrote a note to the youth: "To my new-found friends and good neighbors. I am at a loss for words to express my deep appreciation and gratitude for the wonderful transition you have brought into my life."
Commenting on the partnership between CCS and the Church, Kizzie said, "All my co-workers expressed how wonderful your group was to work with. We are excited for the next opportunity to work together."
Conferences like this one in Renton, Washington, are not rare. Latter-day Saint youth gather throughout the world in thousands of locations to render service in their community and to help those who need a helping hand. Youth are taught to follow Jesus Christ and do as He did when He was on the earth.
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