Young Single Adults Assemble 21,000 School Kits for Charity

Contributed By By Sarah Jane Weaver, Church News staff writer

  • 23 January 2014

Young single adults packaged more than one box of school supplies every two minutes during a service project on the campus of Arizona State University on January 11.  Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

Article Highlights

  • Thousands of young single adults assembled more than 21,000 school backpacks for Native American children.
  • LDS Humanitarian Services donated the supplies for the kits, which will be distributed through National Relief Charities.
  • The project was part of a three-day conference attended by almost 4,000 young single adults.

Thousands of young single adults gathered in the Sun Devil Fitness Complex on the campus of Arizona State University on January 11 to assemble more than 21,000 “back to school” backpacks for Native American children.

“It feels nice to help people,” said Jen Grubbs of the Mountain View YSA Ward, Mesa Arizona YSA East Stake. “We are so privileged here. We don’t realize how much we take for granted.”

LDS Humanitarian Services donated the supplies for the kits, which will be distributed through National Relief Charities. The organization serves Native Americans primarily located on reservations in remote areas of the plains and the southwest, including 13 tribes in Arizona.

The project was part of a three-day conference attended by almost 4,000 young single adults from five stakes in Arizona.

McKenzie Mills of the Mountain View Ward, Mesa Arizona East YSA Stake, said seeing so many people working together to help others gave her hope. “It is just seeing all this as a whole that makes you feel there is goodness to come in the future.”

Eszter Krisztian, also of the Mesa Arizona YSA East Stake, added, “It was really fun to see how everyone was trying to do their best.”

Casey Ivancich, a student at ASU and a member of the Tempe Arizona YSA Stake, said giving back is a great way to start a new year. “It was cool to work together, doing something for a better cause than we are usually accustomed to.”

Caye Mabry, who serves in the Mesa Arizona YSA East Stake and helped coordinate the project, said local Church leaders asked everyone who participated in the conference to give one hour of service. To complete all the backpacks in the two-and-a-half-hour time slot, they needed to assemble one box every two minutes.

Bright-colored pencil sharpeners are part of school kits. LDS Humanitarian Services donated the school kit supplies. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.

In the end, 56 teams finished the project 30 minutes ahead of schedule. “They love to serve,” Sister Mabry said. “We had an abundance of help.”

She said that while organizing the YSA conference, local leaders realized they had the two-and-a-half-hour block of time. “We knew we would have more than 6,000 hands. You can do a great thing with 6,000 hands.”

McKenzie Mills of the Mountain View YSA Ward, Mesa Arizona YSA East Stake, delivers pencils to packing stations during a service project. Photo by Sarah Jane Weaver.