This was our first annual combined community and ward service project, and we hope to make it a lasting tradition. —Bishop David Heslington

Community members joined forces with the 12th Ward, Salt Lake Central Stake, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on Saturday, Aug. 10, to create hygiene kits, quilts and grow boxes for local charities and a school.

While members of the LDS ward have been involved in community service previously, this was the first time they invited those in the surrounding neighborhood in a joint humanitarian service project to donate items to local charities.

The project was a significant undertaking for a ward that has a number of seniors and many college-age students who took time from pursuing their education to help. More than 50 people participated in the project, assembling 400 hygiene kits, two quilts and two large grow boxes. The kits were delivered to the Road Home, a local homeless shelter, and the quilts will be donated to Catholic Community Services for refugee families. The grow boxes were taken to Endeavor Hall Charter School in West Valley City.

Following a breakfast of pancakes, eggs and fruit at the meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 951 E. 100 South, the kits — which included shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, towels and combs — were assembled and inserted into zip seal bags, then boxed for easy distribution at the Road Home. The kits were finished in just 30 minutes, and participants turned to the other projects.

Children and adults surrounded quilt frames engaging in conversation and the quilt-tying project.

Lizzie, the 6-year-old granddaughter of ward member Cheryl Fast Horse, wanted in on the action. “I want to help tie quilts,” she said. She and several others, including LDS service missionaries who serve in the ward, worked all morning and into the early afternoon to create two quilts.

The grow box project was the most physically demanding. The two boxes were constructed on a flatbed trailer behind the Mormon chapel before being taken to the school, where students will fill them with plants this fall.

“This was our first annual combined community and ward service project, and we hope to make it a lasting tradition,” Bishop David Heslington said.

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Sister Pat McMullin, one of the service missionaries, said, “What an incredible opportunity to rub shoulders with ward members and people from the local community who represent different faiths and cultures. … We hope this will continue to strengthen the outstanding relationship we already have with the Salt Lake community and local charities.”

Quilt material and hygiene items were donated by the LDS Humanitarian Center. Materials for the grow boxes were provided by the school.

Mike McMullin is a retired Air Force colonel. He and his wife are serving as service missionaries in the Salt Lake City area for the LDS Church. EMAIL: