Bishop Loren Somerville of the Tortolita Ward, Tucson Arizona North Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wanted his youth to experience community service firsthand. Messages were sent out to the local churches asking if they had any groundskeeping or light maintenance that his congregation could assist with as a community service project.
The Tortolita Presbyterian Church responded to the call. On Tuesday, July 2, 2014, twenty-five young people and their leaders arrived at the church with rakes, loppers, shovels, trimmers, leaf blowers, and lots of energy to help trim, spruce up and beautify the grounds.“We are all God’s children. I love being here and doing this.”The crew enthusiastically vacuumed fallen leaves, pulled weeds, picked up dried cactus, removed mistletoe from the ironwood trees, trimmed bushes, and then hauled the debris to the dumpster. Thirty workers rendered nearly 60 man-hours of volunteer service.
Leaders of the Tortolita Presbyterian Church supervised the project. Ruling Elder Don Larson, who is responsible for the facility, was out of town, but left a list of various tasks to tackle. Ruling Elder Peg Snyder and her husband, Bob, as well as Alicia Rowe, Secretary of Session and Music Director, were present. Ms. Rowe, explained, “Because we are an elderly congregation, it is difficult for us to keep up the yard work at this property. We really appreciate the efforts of these young people.”
Harrison Chamberlain, a 12-year-old worker said, “Service is service, and I am having a blast.”
Harrison’s friend, 13-year-old Casey Horstmann added, “It is good to be helping people, no matter what religion they are.”
Nathan Prodromides, a 17-year-old volunteer, summed up the feelings of everyone when he said, “We are all God’s children. I love being here and doing this.”