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Helping in Your Own Back Yard

July 06, 2005

Every year, the three wards of St. David, Arizona join together to celebrate the Relief Society’s birthday. This year the St. David Ward Relief Society president Susan Pollock was in charge of coming up with an activity for the three wards.

“I woke up at 3:00 in the morning and knew what we needed to do,” said Susan. “We needed to go back to our roots and do some service.”

Susan said she knew the San Pedro Valley Child Protective Services needed supplies when she heard about the terrible conditions in which they receive children. She said she was terribly distressed when she found out children were delivered to foster homes wearing only what they had on when they were taken from their parents. Some children arrive with nothing on but a diaper. 

The sisters of the St. David, San Pedro, and Patton wards were asked to gather new, good-quality used items and bring them to the celebration night. Their goal was to fill plastic bins with diapers, clothes, blankets and other needed items and give them to the county agencies.

One hundred and fifty women showed up to the activity, most carrying bags full of the needed supplies. As the women came in they received a color dot, which assigned them to a specific workstation. There were five different workstations. The first was cutting and tying fleece blankets. The second was a presort of items donated. The women at the third station folded and separated the items. The fourth station put the items into the boxes. The fifth station was a “working supper” where women made dinner for everyone else so no food preparations were necessary before the activity.

The women ended up contributing triple the amount Susan had anticipated. The boxes of supplies filled a trailer and two pickups.

“When we delivered the items, it was overwhelming,” said Susan. “The diapers alone filled the agency’s conference room from the floor to the ceiling. The organization owned a shed and they had to clean it out in order to house all the supplies we brought. The director of the agency was in tears and very touched.”

Susan noted that their service has been a great missionary tool. On each of the bins was printed “Gathered with love from the ladies of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St. David, Arizona.” The missionaries in the area have received calls because of their service.

But the service doesn’t stop there; Susan says each ward has committed to continually keep the bins full of supplies.

“We had a big need in our own backyard. The sprit of love and cooperation of helping those in need was so strong. It was well worth it.”

© LDS Living Magazine