This spring the hashtag #trashtag has gone viral worldwide prompting people to clean up litter and trash on beaches, roadsides, parks etc.
In an effort to make our neighborhoods cleaner members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that make up the congregations in Arvada were encouraged to work with neighbors, friends, and youth groups to pick up trash around town.
Across the town, groups went out picking up garbage and sharing their efforts on Facebook and Instagram to inspire others to clean up their neighborhoods too.
In the fall of 2018 one high school teen had an idea to spread the light of Christ to more people by creating a “Just Serve” club at her high school, Discover Canyon Campus.
Abbie Adams sought out the necessary signature from a principal and obtained a teacher sponsor. Then she set up a booth during their school club sign-up fair. Sixty students signed up to participate.
This club fills an important niche in the school because there are many clubs and some classes that require the students to do service such as National Honor Society, Spanish club, ROTC as well as Civic classes there in Colorado Springs.
It also provides an opportunity for students not participating in other clubs to complete service hours for college applications and other various reasons without any requirements such as grades or expense.
The JustServe.org Club is offering one activity per month. Most activities will be held during lunchtime in the school library. Abbie sends out meeting notifications and reminders to all participants through the app Remind.
Members of the Boulder Stake and the Bishop’s Storehouse donated nearly 1,500 pounds of food and toiletries to the Emergency Family Assistance Association. The EFAA serves the Boulder community in need of basic food and housing and they were thrilled to have a large January donation following the holidays. Individuals in the Boulder Stake collected the donations as part of their #LightTheWorld effort.
This fall, as John Fielding Toronto was preparing to plan and organize an Eagle Scout project, his father suggested that he contact Mark Hahn, who is over Volunteer and Parish Relations at Catholic Charities, for service project ideas. Mark was a great help to John Fielding, putting him in touch with Denver’s Samaritan House, a Catholic Charities shelter for homeless members of the Denver community. Mark also volunteered that Arvada’s St. Joan of Arc Catholic church might also be interested in announcing and supporting the project.
Inspired by these contacts, and leveraging relationships of his own, John Fielding immediately set to work organizing a project to collect travel-sized personal hygiene and other related items to be donated to the Samaritan House. In particular, John coordinated announcements at Arvada’s St. Joan of Arc parish as well as in his own home congregation (the Arvada First Ward) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in addition to using the “Nextdoor” neighborhood social media platform and making door to door contacts throughout his own neighborhood.
Following weeks of announcements, distribution of flyers and posters, and ultimately coordination of an extensive collection process, John Fielding and a number of fellow scouts, friends and family members gathered and organized products donated for the project.
For all who have volunteered time, talent or energy to others in need, it’s easy to understand the feeling of wanting to do more. You might wish for deeper pockets or unlimited resources to make your giving more significant. Today is the day where a bit of that wish comes true. December 4 is Colorado Gives Day, which means that as each of us goes online to give, our donations have potential to be magnified by the $1 Million Incentive Fund. You can help through ColoradoGives.org, a year-round, online giving website featuring more than 2,300 nonprofits. Last year brought in $36 million in a 24-hour period.
Wondering where to start? Below are a few JustServe partners who stand in extra need and would benefit from a boost on this day of giving.
Lutheran Family Services (LFS) is the largest refugee resettlement agency in the Rocky Mountain region. Every year LFS responds to needs of 30,000 people. One simple but constant need is for diaper donations. Clients often have large families and always need diapers. You can also help with creating baby baskets for refugee families who are either expecting or have just had a new baby.
In this season of giving, and as we Light the World, we hope you will consider joining in this day as Colorado Gives.
I’m not a hero, I’m just a grateful survivor. -Col Coates
This Monday a church member from Littleton was honored in a Veteran’s Day celebration. Originally meant to be a joint service project cleaning up and performing maintenance at Fort Logan Cemetery and then culminating in a ceremony at noon; the service project portion of the event was postponed due to weather.
The ceremony was held to honor Brother Bob Coates who served in three different wars. Coates was born in 1924 in Arizona and enlisted in the US Army Corps in 1942 when he was 18 years old. During WWII he flew 36 combat missions as co-pilot in the 381st Bombing Group, dropping bombs on military targets in Germany. Despite being shot down over German-occupied France, he (more…)
In what has become an annual tradition, youth from the Boulder area congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came together to perform a service project that starts and ends with BLT.
They started at a local meetinghouse in Broomfield and split the area into sections. These young men and young women then went door to door asking if they could rake leaves. They asked that a canned food donation for FISH, the local food pantry, be donated in exchange for the service, but would rake leaves regardless of donation.
They raked for a total of 2 hours. In total, they collected 468 lbs of food and $361 for the food bank. They raked 374 bags of leaves. (more…)