First in a series about "Day of Service" events
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Close to 100 volunteers from the Montgomery Alabama Stake found joy in serving with the 10th Annual Joy to Life Foundation’s "Walk of Life" on April 16, which raised nearly $200,000 that will be used for mammograms for the poor and uninsured.
A Montgomery couple started the Joy to Life Foundation to provide free mammograms for medically underserved women under the age of 50 in close to half of Alabama’s 67 counties. In its first year, the 5K run-walk through downtown Montgomery attracted about 300 racers.
This year, about 4,900 participants from 18 states took to the streets on a breezy Saturday morning where pink was the color of the day. As the stake’s service project for the North America Southeast Area’s annual “Day of Service,” members helped with registration, guiding racers, manning sponsor tents, set-up and clean-up.
John Enslen, a member of the Wetumpka Ward, oversaw this year’s service project: “We felt it was a praiseworthy endeavor to detect and prevent breast cancer in women,” especially in light of cutbacks in government funding, he said.
The members of the stake captured the spirit of the Day of Service while fostering ties between the church and the community.
“I saw bridges being built as we worked with the staff of the Joy to Life Foundation,” said President Kurt Lloyd of the stake presidency who came up with the idea of partnering with this particular charitable foundation.
Last year, the stake partnered with a dozen other Central Alabama organizations to hold a week-long food drive. Volunteers gathered 4,221 pounds of food and nearly $3,700 in cash donations to benefit the Montgomery Area Food Bank that serves 25 Alabama counties.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley declared the month of April as “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Month of Service” in Alabama to recognize the LDS Church’s long history of humanitarian service and current efforts to partner with other community members to “perform a labor of love.”
Susan L. Turley is a public affairs specialist in the Montgomery Alabama Stake.