DAYTON — Global Youth Service Day, celebrated each year in Dayton is the largest and longest-running service event in the world. It is an annual campaign sponsored by “Youth Service America” that celebrates the millions of children and youth who want to improve their communities through community service.
For the past 8 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has celebrated with United Way, organizing service projects that benefit the Dayton area. This year, joined by the Muslim Sisters of Dayton; Muslim Youth Outreach, 108 volunteers participated in seven projects totaling 220 hours of service.
Through this interfaith effort, 151 cards of encouragement were made for the Good to Go Backpack Program at the Dayton Food Bank and First Dawn Food Pantry. Twelve warm blankets were made for women and children at the YWCA shelter. A strawberry garden was weeded and planted at Harvest for Hope; a community garden that grows fresh produce for the House of Bread and local food pantries.
A large garden was planted in inner-city Dayton to benefit local refugee families. Grounds cleaning services were provided at Hannah’s Treasure Chest, the Castle, and resident yards. Twenty seven youth took part in a service called “indexing”: a way of digitizing and preserving historical documents for a searchable database with 148 names indexed during the service. One group of youth attended the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Columbus, performing work in the service of their ancestors.
Hannah’s Treasure Chest commented, “I am so grateful for so many kids to help. The grounds were in need of care. This was a very productive day!”
One youth commented, “I love to serve in the hopes that someone will find joy in my gift of love,” referring to letters of encouragement written to those in need.
This year, the church teamed with the following organizations: United Way of Dayton, the Catholic Charities refugee program, Food Bank of Dayton, Harvest 4 Hope, Hannah’s Treasure Chest, The Castle, and the YWCA of Dayton. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Muslim Sisters of Dayton will continue their support of Global Youth Service Day in 2018.