Members of the Church across England joined in ward and stake projects Sept. 24 in enthusiastic support of the LDS "Helping Hands Day," which is held in conjunction with the 10-year-old national "Make a Difference Day."
The national project has long had widespread member participation. Some members, such as those in the Almwick Branch, have sponsored an improvement project almost every year since the branch was organized nearly 10 years ago.
This year, members of the Pontefract Ward, York England Stake, beautified the local Haw Hill Park by planting a variety of flower bulbs, mostly bluebell with some wild varieties, and clearing large areas of the park from litter and debris. Many Primary children assisted the adults in planting seeds.
Members in the Selby Ward, York England Stake, cleaned, painted and gardened the grounds of the Peter Pan Nursery in Sherburn-in-Elmet.
The nursery is considered an oasis in a desert of problems associated with children with disabilities. Most every member was involved in the project, from toddler to senior citizen.
"It was a good opportunity (for ward members) to forget about their problems and to put something back into the community. They really felt like they had made a difference," said Yvonne Lawrance of the ward.
Some projects of years past include preparing and shipping supplies to Romanian orphanages; making bird boxes at a nursing home; cleaning a shelter sponsored by the Methodist Church; providing motorized exercise equipment to a home for people with disabilities; removing an old swimming pool and planting a garden in its place; and planting 4,000 flower bulbs around park benches and elsewhere in a community garden.