Members Across the Caribbean Lead International Day of Service
By Sister Laurel Dunford, Caribbean Area public affairs
- Projects included painting schools and hospitals, cleaning and beautifying public areas, and visiting with the elderly in care centers.
- Countries involved in the international day of service included Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, the Grenadines, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti.
Latter-day Saints joined with neighbors and other organizations in the Caribbean to provide an international day of service, “Hands and Hearts,” on November 2.
As part of the event, organized under the direction of the Caribbean Area Presidency, Church members undertook projects such as painting schools and hospitals; cleaning and beautifying parks, roadways, cemeteries, and other public areas; and visiting with the elderly in care centers.
At the Madame Ifill Day Nursery in Christ Church, Barbados, 20 members spent nine hours painting the walls of the day nursery. In San Juan, Puerto Rico, 26 members and 10 other local residents cleaned up Santiago Marino recreational facilities.
In the Bush Lot Branch in Guyana, members picked up trash along the road that runs through the village where the LDS meetinghouse is located. Since there is no garbage collection service available in this part of Guyana, this type of project was very beneficial to the community.
LDS leaders also invited Ovid Schultz, pastor of the local Pentecostal Church, to have his congregation join in the project. On the day of the project in Savanna-La-Mar, Jamaica, members and volunteers were divided into teams. Work started at 7:00 a.m. and was carried out along the four main roads leading into the town. The project in St. Vincent and the Grenadines included 20 members of the Kingstown Branch who cleaned along the city waterfront and then walked through the town up to the LDS meetinghouse. They were greeted with many expressions of “thank you” and positive comments. Twenty-one members of the Calliaqua Branch in St. Vincent joined with the Community Building Blocks organization to clean Canash Beach. They collected and disposed of a full dump truck load of trash and debris.
Many events took place throughout the Dominican Republic. In the Santiago North Stake, the members cleaned, painted, and built playgrounds in different schools and childcare centers. In two wards in the Ozama Stake, members organized health fairs. In the Independencia Stake, several projects went on throughout the region. In the Hospital Santo Socorro in Santo Domingo, 88 people cleaned waiting rooms, bathrooms, external walls and internal walls, gardens, and patios. Several needy families were helped when Piantini Ward members cleaned yards and made repairs. A community cemetery was cleaned in the Villa Mella Stake.
The members in Saint Maarten participated in two service projects. One was with the Nature Foundation in doing a beach cleanup in Guana. The other was painting Oranje School in Philipsburg in preparation for the visit of the king and queen of the Netherlands.
On the Atlantic Ocean side of Tobago Island, 33 Mormon Helping Hands volunteers participated in cleaning Lambeau Beach. In just two hours, they collected approximately 80 large bags of trash.
In the Georgetown Group, all five members and 21 neighbors and children cleaned the beach.
Sixteen Church members in St. Lucia went to St. Lucy's Rest Home and sang hymns and visited with the residents.
Members from Vieux Fort cleaned up a local beach.
In Guyana, members of the Rose Hall Branch in Berbice slashed the overgrown weeds surrounding the Port Mourant Nursery School and painted a crosswalk.
More than 100 members of the Port-au-Prince Haiti Stake spent the day of service beautifying the grounds of the National Theater in Port-au-Prince, planting 60 fruit trees and cleaning the grounds.