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Lisa Shepard
Members of the Austin Texas and Cedar Park Texas stakes work together to clean up a school in their community.

AUSTIN, TEXAS

More than 800 volunteers from two Texas stakes spent a few hours on the morning of Oct. 8 cleaning up and serving at a local elementary school in their community.

Church members living in the Austin Texas Stake and Cedar Park Texas Stake participated in one of 19 projects on the school campus. As Church members worked together, the 60-year-old school transformed as workers planted trees, cleaned and landscaped multiple areas. Volunteers erected a pergola to cover an outdoor classroom. Weathered outdoor stages and picnic tables were sanded and repainted, and doors around the school were repainted. Volunteers also served indoors by assisting teachers and repainting the faculty lounge.

The two stake Primary organizations had a goal of collecting 2,000 books to share with the school. Leading up to the project, each ward had a box in its Primary room where people could drop off books. The morning of the project, representatives presented the principal with more than 5,700 books. Most of the students do not speak English in their homes and over 90 percent are economically disadvantaged. The Primary-sponsored book drive will allow each child to take home about eight books.

This marks the third year the Austin Texas Stake has carried out a service project renovating a local school. The plans for the project began a year prior to the day of service, following the last school project. Each year leaders pick a different school to work with hoping to build strong relationships with the community and improve neighborhoods.

When the stake split in June of this year, leaders decided the newly created Cedar Park Texas Stake would share in this year’s endeavor. Eighteen of the 19 projects completed were listed on the justserve.org website.

One teacher wrote in a letter of thanks to project director, Scott McCullough, “Your volunteers have brought a glimpse of how great this nation still is by making Wooten a school that shines to the surrounding community and our families.”

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