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4/25/15: LDS Church Paints with Habitat Through JustServe!

Posted by in A Brush with Kindness, Moreno Valley, Volunteers | Comments Off on 4/25/15: LDS Church Paints with Habitat Through JustServe!
4/25/15: LDS Church Paints with Habitat Through JustServe!

Members from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints joined us this past Saturday to paint a home for a homeowner in Moreno Valley.  This volunteer event was facilitated by the Mormon Church’s new community outreach initiative and website called ‘JustServe’ (, which provides an online mechanism for Mormons to volunteer in their community, connecting Mormon volunteers with churches, non-profits and civic organizations for volunteer events in their area.   This program was started with the goal of engaging missionaries with their local communities, providing productive and fulfilling activities for them to perform during the day (with the goal of each missionary performing pure service in their communities 20 hours per week).

As I’ve learned, the world-wide LDS Church is divided into geographical regions and subregions. Wards are what they call each of their local congregations, organized by population of typically 300-700 members.  A group of wards in a geographic area make up a stake.  In attendance this day were about 30 members from LDS wards from the Moreno Valley stake.   The Moreno Valley stake usually volunteers with Habitat Riverside about once a year, but we are hoping to engage them more using their JustServe community outreach initiative in the future.

I really enjoyed talking with LDS church members, and it was a great opportunity for me to learn about their missionary work too, as it is not often that I interact with members of the LDS church.  Eleven of the volunteers were missionaries from Utah, Alaska, Mexico City, and Missouri. I was surprised that some of them were speaking Spanish (with very little accent) with Erika, the missionary from Mexico. I then learned that some of the missionaries had spent some time at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Mexico where they learned Spanish in preparation for their mission in Moreno Valley. Chris, originally from Utah, was nearing the end of his mission. He was excited that he was going to return home in June after taking two years off from college to complete his mission in California.

They were all also very good painters (some were practically expert)!  We had plenty of volunteers, so the main focus was maintaining the work quality.  Julie impressed us all with her steady hand; she delicately painted around the house numbers without getting any paint on them.  Shane joked that he came from a line of painters—his father and grandfather were painters—but that didn’t mean that he could paint. Probably because of his lineage, something nagged him to take care of the “blotches” on the wall, so he helped with quality control.

The group did a great job painting and the homeowner was ecstatic with the results!  We were finished and cleaned up within 4 hours, which is fast.  Thanks again to the LDS Church for volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Riverside, we hope to see more LDS members and missionaries joining us again. Until next time…


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