Youth in the Crescent View Ward, Sandy Utah Crescent Stake, learned recently that they can have an impact on other youth in the community who may be less fortunate than they.
In a special service project, young men and young women from the ward gave assistance to a shelter established to provide a safe, clean environment for neglected or abused children. The shelter takes care of children from newborn to 18 years old who have been placed in protective custody. They remain in the shelter until a foster home is found."We met at the first of the year, got all the presidencies together and asked for ideas," explained Rochele Clark, Young Women president. "We discussed the purpose of the Church - which is to proclaim the gospel, perfect the saints and redeem the dead - and how we carry out these purposes in the Young Men and Young Women program.
"The youth wanted to do service projects and we began looking into services needed in the community."
Paulette Petersen, Young Women counselor in the ward and coordinator of the project, contacted the shelter to find out if there was any type of service the ward could give.
She learned that the shelter needed to be painted and cleaned and that underclothing, socks, blankets and nightwear were needed for the children.
About 100 youth participated in the service project, which lasted about five weeks. The young men provided most of the physical labor by painting and putting down new floor coverings at the shelter. Each Beehive, Mia Maid and Laurel class made a quilt for the center and young women also bought underwear and socks and made night shirts for the children.
The youth were challenged to earn $5 each to go toward buying materials for the project. The service project ended with a talk from a shelter representative who told about the center and its purpose. The youth then presented her with the quilts and other items to be used at the shelter.
Beehive Wendy Holbrook added, "It made me feel good to know I had helped in some way."
Sommer Shiffgen, a Laurel, commented, "It was a great opportunity to be involved. It was good to be able to give this service to the youth shelter. Actually, the young people in our ward received more from the project than what we gave."
Adam Ware, a priest in the ward, added, "It made me feel really good to know I was helping other kids in need."
In addition to the service project, the young women and young men were also able to sharpen some homemaking and home improvement skills, Sister Clark said.
Craig Allman, ward Young Men president, commented, "I think their eyes have really been opened. When the young men went down there to do the work, they asked so many questions and wanted to see first hand what was going on. Everybody really started to count their own blessings when they realized how some people live." - Sheridan R. Sheffield