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  • David Moore

Cultivating Community

Bright and early on the warm and sunny morning of Saturday, June 3rd, approximately 200 members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and friends gathered in Burlington, IA, for fun, fellowship and service. Participants met at their local church building for registration and orientation before heading off to 15 different service sites around the city of Burlington. Some projects included: painting pedestrian handrails in downtown Burlington, cleaning up the Burlington river front after recent flooding, reclaiming a hiking trail at Hope Haven, picking up trash along major thoroughfares and city streets, completing outdoor landscaping at Hamilton Place as well as going house-to-house to install free Red Cross smoke alarms in two areas of the city.

Following the three-hour service effort, participants gathered at North Hill Park in downtown Burlington to enjoy a picnic lunch while being serenaded by The Elite Team, a professional touring and performing group of local area youth coached by Chenille Saunders.

After the event, city officials expressed appreciation for both the quality and quantity of work accomplished. One site supervisor commented that “he was amazed by how much work a group of committed volunteers could accomplish in so short a time.” The Burlington Fire Department also expressed gratitude for volunteer efforts that significantly improved fire protection for 29 Burlington homes.

Volunteers were also happy to be serving in Burlington, and some drove from as far as 75 miles away just to participate. Entire families worked together. One volunteer, who brought her nine children with her to serve, told organizers:

“My children and I enjoyed spending our morning pulling weeds and spreading mulch at a local retirement center (Hamilton Place). We worked hard, but the residents did, too…even the director pulled weeds alongside us. Many residents came outside to visit with us…and they even prepared ice-cold lemonade to refresh us. It was a beautiful morning of helping each other. We came away with a sense of community and love. Thank you, Burlington!”

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