In keeping with the spirit of the First Presidency Christmas message and the ‘Light the World’ Christmas initiative, combined youth from the Ashland Ward in the Huntington West Virginia Stake recently met to provide service for the local community. The young men and young women made simple tie blankets for residents in local nursing care facilities and sandwiches for the homeless. They held a friendly timed challenge which the young women won hands down. Also participating were the ward Young Men and Young Women leaders.
While the event was fun, the issue of homelessness is serious and often overwhelming in the region. The Ashland Ward serves a very large geographical area, larger than some missions. The region suffers from high unemployment, crippling poverty and one of the highest populations of homeless school-aged children in the country.
The young women also hosted a babysitting and gift-wrapping service so busy parents could get out and do some last-minute Christmas errands. While they were busy being handy helpers, the young men also participated in a service project to build a much-needed handrail for an ill and aging member.
The Ashland Ward bishopric said they are proud of the young women and men and their desire to serve the Savior and local community. As they tackle the 2018 Mutual theme found in Doctrine and Covenants 19:23, they will “expand their desire to draw closer to the Savior and find great peace and true happiness.”
Sister Angie Blake, a ward Young Women’s leader, said, “I am so proud of our young women. They truly show the light of Christ in all they do and ‘jump’ at opportunities to serve.” She went on to express that she is greatly inspired by her girls.
Brother Brent Brown, the Ashland Ward Young Men’s president, echoed Sister Blake’s sentiment. “The young men have sound outlooks and know how, when and where the restored gospel fits in their daily lives.” He said he feels they are true brothers, and they look out for one another.
The young women and young men look forward to future projects, some already ongoing and many planned for the upcoming year.
For more ideas for service projects to contribute to the ‘Light the World’ initiative, visit mormon.org for videos, downloadable content, and a calendar of scriptures and suggestions for ways to give back to the community. Share these experiences online by including the tag #LIGHTtheWORLD on social media.
— Scott Carpenter, Ashland (Kentucky) Ward, Huntington West Virginia Stake
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