400 Volunteers Make Light Work of Texas Cleanup Project

  • 21 November 2012

Eight hundred hands can do a lot.

“In just a few hours, the Mormon Helping Hands group accomplished a week’s worth of maintenance,” said Jim Bowlin, City of Pflugerville Parks and Recreation director. “I’m overwhelmed by the response of volunteers. This group did an incredible amount of work—and no one complained.”

His comments were made after approximately 400 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers worked October 17 to clean up Pflugerville Lake, located just north of Austin, Texas. Wearing yellow “Mormon Helping Hands” vests, members of the Austin Texas Stake planted 40 trees, stained wooden trash containers, cleaned cattails and willows from boat ramps and shores, replaced planks on a boat dock and picked up trash along the lake shore. 

The Austin Texas Stake organized the project. Stake President David Hollingsworth said, “It’s a privilege for us to take part as community citizens—to have an opportunity to enhance and beautify our neighborhoods and communities.”

Sandy George, who worked in waist-deep water removing willows so that boaters can more easily navigate their way to the lake from the boat ramp, said, “I’m really excited to be part of something that’s contributing to my community. I don’t always feel like I do as much as I should to contribute, but this is directly related to my hometown.”

Hundreds of volunteers traveled from other parts of the Austin metro area to help with the Lake Pflugerville cleanup project. Scott Carpenter woke his four children up at 6:30 a.m. so they could pick up trash along the lakeshore. “None of us are morning people, but if we can help out, we will,” he said. “Service blesses us. Anytime a call goes out, we want to help.”

Samuel Castellanos, 12, of Pflugerville, came out on Saturday morning with his mother, grandmother, sisters, and cousin. “This is my community, so I need to help take care of it,” he said.