Foster and Refugee Children Receive 180 Backpacks, Adams 12 Schools Receive Outdoor Makeover

Thanks to local volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

BROOMFIELD, CO–On the overcast Saturday morning of July 29, over 200 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Westminster Stake, gathered at their church for a quick breakfast before venturing out to a morning filled with packing backpacks with school supplies, weeding school grounds, pruning trees and painting curbs.

Eager arrivals worked quickly and efficiently to organize school supplies for 180 backpacks to be given to Lutheran Family Services—Rocky Mountains.

After breakfast, Katie Scherr, from Lutheran Family Services Church Relations and Development, spoke of their need to supply 360 backpacks to foster and refugee children from Longmont to as far south as Castle Rock.

This backpack drive is an annual endeavor for Lutheran Family Services, however this was the first year they coordinated with The Church of Jesus Christ, Westminster Stake.

“I was literally speechless when I walked in and saw everything,” said Scherr.  “It’s been a huge team effort this year.”

Families were happy to assist with the backpack assembly, where 180 packs were donated in all.  Each pack contained supplies such as notebooks, folders, crayons, rulers, calculators, highlighters, water bottles and pencil bags—just to name a few.

“My family and I participated by assembling the backpacks,” said Sarah Jensen, a volunteer who brought her two children.  “It helped my family and I become less focused on ourselves and more focused on serving others.”

Erin Gee, Director of Public Affairs for the Westminster Stake, said “We are so impressed with the work Lutheran Family Services does to provide support to children and families in need.  We are honored to partner with them as Christians concerned for those in the foster care and refugee programs.”

While more than 50 volunteers worked to fill the backpacks, others divided between four Adams 12 schools to provide general outdoor maintenance and care.

Families capably worked at Legacy High School, Meridian Elementary School, Mountain View Elementary School and Coyote Ridge Elementary School.

Even little four-year-old Lydia Marsh joined in the service at her future elementary school, Meridian.

“I feel very good and nice inside,” said an exuberant Lydia.

Current Meridian student, Austin Trane said “I like this school.  I like the teachers and the principal.  It makes me happy to help out.”

Other volunteers at Meridian helped mulch, paint the playground area, weed and pick up trash while volunteers at Coyote Ridge Elementary School made quick and accurate work of weeding and painting curbs and four-square courts.  Mountain View workers painted railings and scattered mulch as well.

Legacy High School saw over 70 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ.  Some volunteers weeded, pruned and even helped finish laying rock for a walking trail.

Tina Harding and two daughters take a break from weeding outside Legacy High School in Broomfield, Colorado.

13-year-old volunteer, Sperry Sargent said “It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.”

“It was fun to see everyone doing their part,” said Jen Mortensen, a volunteer and mother of several Adams 12 students.  “If you haven’t done this, you should, because it’s such a great experience.”

The Westminster Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ seeks to support and strengthen the communities of its members by rendering service and kindness.

“It’s great to work with Adams 12,” said Erin Gee.  “They have been so supportive and they are an amazing team.”

President Grover Wray, counselor in the Westminster Stake Presidency, said “It’s a privilege to be involved in our community, helping to beautify our schools and render Christian service.”

Service initiatives, such as these, are part of a continual effort from the Westminster Stake to help enhance and lift the Broomfield and Westminster communities and encourage members to be involved and connected with their communities.  Previous community services included refugee welcome bags, outdoor maintenance at other Adams 12 schools, and Westminster’s community service day in May.


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