News Release

Young Mormons Serve Their Community and Third World Countries

500 young people from the Church gathered to help those in need.

Young Single Adult (YSA) Church members (ages 18 to 30) from the Brisbane area -- from the Gold Coast in the South to the Sunshine Coast in the North -- recently gave up their usual weekend activities to do service for those in need.  The projects, part of the annual National Mormon Helping Hands Day, entailed many types of service.

The young members assembled 300 Hygiene Kits, 220 Kids Kits, 400 sterile birthing kits, planted 650 trees and handed-out disaster preparation leaflets to those areas deemed most in danger with the approaching storm season. 

They also deep-cleaned Queensland’s largest Mormon meetinghouse and gathered rubbish on and around the Brisbane temple grounds. There is only one temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Queensland, located on Kangaroo Point over-looking the city of Brisbane.

The Tingalpa Cemetery was cleaned and cared for. It is a non-functioning cemetery and in much need of attention. Discussions are now taking place regarding having the cemetery records digitised, which would make them available for family history work.

As part of the service project, a FamilySearch indexing station was set up by the Logan Stake (diocese), where the members were able to index names of deceased people to make them available for family history research around the world.  At the indexing station canned goods were also collected for Poverty Week to aid families without food.

The weekend began with a devotional on Friday evening.  Three speakers outlined the projects to be done and the people who specifically would be helped by their efforts.

Colin Sivalingum, a representative from the Red Cross, outlined how 300 hygiene kits being prepared that night would help people from all around the Pacific area. He shared how these kits can be a great source of comfort and assistance when people are removed from their homes and living in disaster shelters.

Nicole Armada from Hoa’s Angels (an Australian Christian Charity Foundation) spoke about the condition of children, often as young as four years of age, found on the streets of Vietnam in need of food, protection and medical care.  She shared with the young people how the 220 ‘Kids Kits’ they would assemble could easily be the first time some of these kids had ever had something of their own.

The third project was the assembling of 400 birthing kits for mothers in third- world countries. Ms Armada told the young Church members that a woman dies in child-birth every two minutes around the world, despite 90% of these circumstances being preventable by having simple sterile basics on hand.

On Saturday (having completed all the kits) the young people split into four locally-based projects beginning with an early morning breakfast. 

A large group of participants helped out the Ipswich City Council by planting 650 trees.

Others aided the Redland City Council by handing out disaster preparation leaflets to those deemed most in danger with the approaching storm season.  Some of the young members travelled out to remote islands while others focused on high-risk areas of the mainland.  

Redland Council representatives were impressed with the young people’s willingness to serve, and also of the Church’s stance on disaster preparedness, and 72 hour kits. These kits are filled with enough essential needs for each person to last 72 hours in the case of an emergency and stored in an easily accessible place. Each Church family is encouraged to have one.

On Sunday, the YSA met together at the Fortsdale chapel for dinner and a fast and testimony meeting where the young people had the opportunity to share their feelings about both their service that weekend and the Church to which they belong.

The National Helping Hands Day is an annual event which reaches out to provide help and humanitarian care to those who need it most. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provides humanitarian aid to 182 countries and encourages its members to serve others wherever they can.

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