Employment training counseling, help with family food supplies, a thrift shop, and opportunities to help others are just some of the services available to residents the Tucson area through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All of these services are free.
Leaders of several nonprofit organizations gathered earlier this month for an overview look at the free community resources available locally by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Representatives from the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, Old Pueblo Community Services, Pima County Interfaith Council, and St. Philips in the Hills Episcopal Church were invited to attend along with local leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ. All of these organizations share one common goal: to serve the community.
Presentations began with an invitation to use JustServe.org, a new website provided by the Church. The site is a resource designed to connect community needs with people who would like to help. Organizations can request posting of their upcoming or ongoing projects on the site. Volunteers can sign up to serve on whatever projects fit their skills, and within the time constraints that work for them. People can sign up as individuals, families, or groups. During the presentation, a visitor shared her own experience with the site saying, “It’s easy to use!” Public Affairs representatives of the stakes (compare to diocese) in the area can help, or organizations can submit projects directly to the site.LDS Employment Resource Services and Deseret Industries are both oriented toward helping users find jobs and develop careers.LDS Employment Resource Services and Deseret Industries were also featured in the presentations. Both programs are oriented toward helping users find jobs and develop careers. The Employment Resource Services provides classes and training that allow users to learn skills that will help them succeed in their chosen fields. Employment Services often partners with local employers to help its clients gain experience in the fields that interest them. One of these partner programs is with the Community Food Bank’s Caridad Catering, which features a culinary training program.
Mike McDonald, CEO of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, was most impressed to hear about “the amount of resources” offered free by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Learning about their Home Storage Center in Tucson prompted McDonald to ask, “Can clients from the Food Bank shop here?” The answer is yes!The Home Storage Center is open to the public and provides meal basics at affordable prices.The center is open to the public and provides meal basics at affordable prices. Staples such as flour, rice, oats, dried milk, dried fruit, and even water purification kits are available. These might be used right away or added to long-term storage plans as people prepare to care for their families through difficult times (e.g. job loss, extended illness, or natural disaster). Flour sold at the center is sealed in #10 cans and has a 30-year shelf life. Volunteers at the center can teach more about preparing a family home storage supply.
All these resources are funded by the tithing and offerings given by members of the Church who choose to “show their gratitude to God for their blessings and their resolve to trust in the Lord rather than in material things.” Members embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ and seek to serve their fellow beings as He did.