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Mormon clean-up effort sweeps Los Angeles area and the state

As many as 70,000 volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fanned out Saturday across the state to help spruce up parks and recreation areas that have been neglected due to the California budget crisis.

Hundreds of people wearing yellow  “Mormon Helping Hands” vests rolled up their sleeves to help on numerous sites in the Los Angeles area. Volunteers raked debris at the Bird Sanctuary in Griffith Park, painted fences at Jessie Owens Park in Inglewood, picked up trash at the Sepulveda Dam, and cleaned up the playground area at a home for abused children in San Dimas.

“The Mormon church does community service all the time, not just one day of the year. By organizing it on a given day and by getting a huge number of people involved, it makes them feel like they are part of something much bigger,” said Matthew Ball, a spokesman for the Mormon church.

Rex Stevens and his wife, Marsha, of Westchester  were at Jessie Owens Park all morning, along with more than 300 other volunteers.

“When we showed up it was just a place that needed some attention,” said Rex Stevens, a local church leader.

“We painted, we swept, we scraped and washed,” said Marsha Stevens. “The curbing was very faded. Now it’s cheerful red. The planters are also now filled with roses.”

People of all ages joined forces to help.

“I saw 4- to 8-year-olds painting and doing things next to their parents. I saw a bunch of people in their 70s,” said Rex Stevens. “They will learn from this that work is fun. Doing things with other people is fun.”

-- Ching-Ching Ni

Comments () | Archives (12)

Wouldn't it be nice if people who receive welfare and extended unemployment benefits would do the same? They would be giving back something to the public that supports them.

Where are all the people carping about the separation of church and state?

I want to thank everyone who worked to make our community a better place!

This is refreshing. An article about a group of people that doesn't consist of Me, Me, Me, and Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.

The city needs to do their job, since we are being taxed, and the people that use the park can also.

Thank you, Mormons and volunteers!

I'm not Mormon, but respect your amazing kindness and effort to help the community (people). This is an amazing act of making Los Angeles a better place. Thank you so much.

They are trying to counteract the terrible publicity they have gotten over support for California's Proposition 8. In so doing, they are hoping that in 2012 their help can defeat gay marriage again. Think of snowball in hell. Support for gay marriage in California has leaped in the polls. The Mormons will have to lie through their teeth - again - to get support to deny this basic human right.

Lakers sweep Jazz in SLC.
Mormons sweep L.A. in clean up effort.
Which one really matters?

IvanG....you are absolutely right. As someone who has accepted government aid in the past--I support that idea. We should be doing SOMETHING...even if it's repainting the parking lot, or cleaning government buildings.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, our welfare program is second to none. And those that receive church welfare contribute hours of their time in the storehouses and various welfare buildings to give back what they take. It's about time that government welfare programs use this same model.

Amazed how some people can make this obvious act of service into a bad thing. This is not about Prop 8....it might surprise many here, but Mormons have a long history and purpose that has nothing to do with politics--just read about the history of our welfare program and how it has affected people around the globe--in places where gay marriage is not on the ballot. Making their service on this day a political issue is really foolish--- this is a tradition in our faith--to serve our fellow man---I have participated in SEVERAL big service projects growing up, WAY BEFORE Prop 8 ever hit the fan.

Regardless of the views of many on this issue, Mormons will continue to serve because that is who we are and who we have always been. Nothing will change our continued efforts to serve our neighbors and our communities. It's our responsibility to do so, and so we will continue to do it.

BY THE WAY...if you think this was solely a CA effort, you are sorely mistaken. I was on a committee here in the Southern United States that also participated in this day of service---TN doesn't have gay marriage on the ballot, either---so it was hardly an issue of image-mending.

i loved participating in this event, it was truly life changing to see what a difference we made : ) !!!!!!

i loved participating in this event, it was truly life changing to see what a difference we made : ) !!!!!!


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