LDS church does day of service

Published 10:03 pm Friday, October 7, 2011

From left, Roland Kent, Jerry Stewart, Michael Christensen and Granson Tristan collect food for the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia during a recent community service day held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hampton Roads spearheaded a community-service day on Sept. 24 in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the church’s welfare program.

Since its founding during the Depression, the church program has focused not only on providing for those in need but also on encouraging self-respect and self-reliance.

Church members engaged in diverse projects both at church meeting houses and around the community. The efforts benefited a number of local organizations, ranging from community gardens and cemetery clean up to assistance at local nursing homes and women’s shelters.

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A total of 37 local congregants in the Bennett’s Creek congregation in Suffolk organized a food drive to benefit soup kitchens in the city. The project was organized in conjunction with the Southeast Virginia Foodbank, which is responsible for dividing up foodstuffs and funds to the regional food banks.

A local Food Lion volunteered its store as a collection location. Four shifts of members were organized and collected a total of 1,165 pounds of food and other items, such as diapers, and $75 of donated cash. The items were delivered to a grateful Suffolk Christian Fellowship food bank at 201 E. Washington St. in downtown Suffolk. The members who participated were impressed by the generosity of people donating to the cause and all expressed eagerness in doing another food drive.

The event occurred on a date set aside by Gov. Bob McDonnell as a day of service across Virginia.