News Story

Takapuna 'Mormon Helping Hands' Volunteers Serve the Community

Members and missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Takapuna, New Zealand assembled 1,000 hygiene kits for local charities today. 

The kits contain such items as shampoo, soap, face washers and combs.  Three local Auckland charities will give them to individuals who are in need of personal care items.

Latter-day Saints throughout New Zealand and worldwide regularly take part in service activities such as this one, as part of the Church’s ‘Mormon Helping Hands’ community outreach effort.

Volunteers also donned the distinctive yellow ‘Mormon Helping Hands’ shirts and took to the streets of Takapuna to pick up rubbish.

The participants all work in the Church’s Pacific Area Office in Takapuna, Auckland.

Mandy Watts said she was impressed when she heard how welcome the kits would be at the home the Salvation Army runs with 80 beds for men aged in their 20’s to their 70’s who are homeless or have just come out of jail.

"My heart was very touched and it left me wanting to do more service like this."

Matt Murray, another participant, said, "I really enjoyed being part of a service project that I know will bless the lives of those in need during this Christmas season."

"I tried to put myself in the shoes of those who might be in need and what it would feel like to receive one of these packages during difficult times. I felt the excitement of lifting another’s spirits through the gift of service."

Matt's co-worker, Murphy Maiava, says he enjoyed helping to pick up rubbish on the beach.  "An elderly woman walking her dog asked what I was doing.  I replied that we were helping to clean up the beach of rubbish. As we parted I noticed some guys eating their lunch on a park bench get up and start to pick up rubbish around where they were eating."

"Funny how just a small example of service can influence people."  

Elder F. Michael Watson of the Church’s Pacific Area Presidency told guests from three local charities and the ‘Mormon Helping Hands’ volunteers that “we do what we do because there are needs in our community and this is what Jesus Christ would have us to do.”

“This is the Christmas season,” he said, “and a time to provide a little happiness to many who have felt only suffering and despair.  The hope of the Christmas season is the Spirit of Christ.”

Elder Watson concluded his remarks with the words of Tiny Tim from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: “God bless us, everyone."

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