More than 20,000 people from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contributed over 150,000 man hours of service for the National Day of Service in the Philippines on 28 April 2012.
All three geographical areas of the Philippines were involved in the day of service. Projects Church members participated in ranged from mangrove planting, clean-up of beaches, mango trees planting, road safety projects, feeding programs, and bloodletting. Often you can tell Church members who are serving by the yellow vests they wear. The vests display the words “helping hands” which indicates what they love to do.
In support of the Earth Day networks initiatives, all activities of the National Day of Service were focused on beautifying the earth and its environment. Despite the unusually high temperatures, members of the Church enjoyed serving side by side with their neighbors, friends, and government leaders. Mel Cozzens, Director of public affairs in Iloilo, said, “Our members served side-by-side with barangay leaders and were assisted by the city environmental and natural resource office (CENRO)”. A youth choir from Antipolo sang songs during the “Sandiwang Festival” to launch Earth Day. The Zamboanga stake (diocese) of the Church enjoyed their coastal clean-up project and helped the community further by conducting an emergency preparedness seminar for people in the community. Handouts on how to prepare 72 hour emergency preparation kits were given to those in attendance.
Doing different humanitarian projects for the whole year of 2011, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reached its goal of over 500,000 man hours of service in the Philippines. One of the tenets of the Church is that when you are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God. Once again, the Church is well on its way to achieving that same goal for 2012.