One hundred and ten members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the Firle Stake (diocese) pitched in to help-out the Gilles Plains Primary School recently.
The Church members weeded, painted, dug, raked, hammered, swept, washed windows, smashed old benches and rotten pallets and removed poles and logs from the area.
A thick layer of vegetation also needed to be removed from the school grounds to prevent a fire danger in a city that is at great risk of bush fires, due to very hot and dry summers.
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The physical effort and sheer hard work made a huge difference to the appearance and safety of the school and was received with heartfelt gratitude.
School principal, Tina Treffers, was impressed with the way the Church volunteers all worked together. “There is a wonderful feeling here in your community of people today,” she said. “People laughing and working together.”
She was so delighted with the work that had been done that she asked if the group could “Just adopt our school and come back each year for your ‘Helping Hands’ project.”
The young Church people, in particular, enjoyed being able to serve together. Rebekah Rice (15) of the Morialta ward (congregation) said, as she showed off blisters and callouses she earned after raking pine needles for hours, “Seeing so many people join in wholesome activities, and serving together was fabulous.”
The Church members also contributed to their broader community that day when 25 of them donated blood to the Australian Red Cross Blood Bank. The blood and plasma donations will aid critically ill and injured people throughout South Australia. The Red Cross was grateful for the effort, knowing that it can be hard to mobilise such a large group.
Thomas Korte (18 years old) of the Fulham Gardens Ward donated blood for the first time and was surprised at how simple it was to do. “I don’t see why anyone who is able wouldn’t want to give blood,” he said. He shared that he was keen to become a regular blood donor and will be donating again in three months.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is involved in humanitarian work in 182 countries around the world.
President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson has said, “Not only by precept did Jesus teach, but also by example. . . He stretched forth his hands that others might be lifted . . . Unaltered is the divine command to succour the weak, and lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees. Each of us has the charge to be . . . a doer . . . a lifter.”
See a video about the Church’s humanitarian work here.