April 30, 2011
Church members gathered for a service project and swept across three Baton Rouge schools and a local park during the last weekend in May.
By the time the service project kicked off at 8 a.m. in Port Allen Elementary’s auditorium, a veritable army of volunteers with gloves, rakes, shovels, blowers, and ladders had assembled to paint, landscape, and carpenter Port Allen Elementary, Port Allen Middle School, and William and Lee Park.
George Hughes is a member of the Baton Rouge Stake and oversaw the carpentry projects during the service activity.
“We’ve had really gracious feelings from both the givers and the receivers,” he said. “With the way the world is right now, it’s exactly what we need to be doing.”
Two of the schools from this year’s service project were also a part of the previous year’s service activity. This year, volunteers took on another school and the community park, as well.
“People are starting to recognize us, and we’re leaving good impressions, opening doors,” Brother Hughes said. “It’s just a confirmation of what Church leaders have said.”
In April 2011 general conference, President Henry B. Eyring challenged each Church member to engage in a day of service during 2011.
“The feelings of unity will multiply the good effects of the service you give,” he said. “And those feelings of unity in families, in the Church, and in communities will grow and become a lasting legacy long after the project ends.”
They were unable to finish one project on Saturday, so a small crew returned to one school on Monday to complete the job. The superintendent came out and thanked them.
“I think the First Presidency’s right on about what we need to do to come out of obscurity,” Brother Hughes said. “I know they pray and come up with the things we need to be doing.”