Service is an important part of the lives of Latter-day Saints, but how often do we forget to do the daily acts of service that can turn someone’s day around? That’s what Sheila Sjolseth, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has set out to accomplish with Pennies of Time, a nonprofit that teaches families how to create habits of doing service daily.
In fall 2011, Sjolseth felt prompted to start teaching her two boys, ages 2 and 4, to serve, but wasn’t sure where to start. The following year she watched her dear friend lose her 21-month-old daughter Penny in a tragic accident. As she watched family, friends, and complete strangers embrace Penny’s family, she turned to prayer to figure out what she could do to help.
“I had never met Penny personally but I was just feeling for her parents and I was sad, and Heavenly Father reminded me to think of Penny’s name. And it just hit me, I was like, this whole thing of doing service with my kids, I need to do it in smaller increments, like a penny is a small amount of money. And so at that point, I was like, OK, this is how I need to think about it. I need to think of it as a penny of time.”