Thousands of volunteers linking arms with city, county and community organizations in a Day of Service

MIAMI/FT. LAUDERDALE – More than two thousand children, teenagers and adults are ready to participate in a Day of Service in South Florida on Saturday, April 24th.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) is responsible for organizing this 2nd annual Day of Service event that is taking place in 14 states in the Southeastern United States where more than 40,000 volunteers are expected to participate in community service projects that will help provide relief to private and public organizations in trying economic times where budgets have been reduced.

Bruce Bartholomew, Ft. Lauderdale President over nine LDS congregations in Broward County explains, “We want to serve side-by-side with organizations and people with whom we have so much in common.  These days of service unify and bond our communities.  Like old-time barn raisings, we can accomplish more when we unite.  It also helps us to let go of our own problems for a few hours and focus on others who need our help.  We hope many will join us.”

LDS congregations from the Florida Keys to Pompano Beach are partnering with city, county, business, humanitarian and other faith-based organizations where more than 10,000 volunteer hours will be worked in projects such as cleaning up parks, making food donations to the homeless, making repairs and improvements to single family homes that will help the elderly, disabled and low-income families, making and distributing hand-tied blankets, painting and making repairs to buildings, planting flowers and plants at an elementary school and neighborhood enhancement projects.

One of the service projects will take place in Fort Lauderdale at The Shepherd’s Way where 1,000 homeless “love bags” containing food and water will be assembled and donated to the organization to be distributed at their Hope Central building.  This service will help a non-profit organization that provides services and programs for families facing housing and economic crisis in their lives.  Volunteers will also be painting, cleaning and making repairs to the Hope Central building.

The Shepherd’s Way program manager, Edwin Copeland, said, “Our work, serving homeless and hurting families, would not be possible without the support of the faith community. Whether it’s hosting a family for a week or coming out for a work day, when our partners put their faith-in-action the families we serve are blessed and reminded that they do not face this journey alone. ”  

In addition to The Shepherd’s Way, there are 29 government and community organizations partnering with these LDS congregations including Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Cooperative Feeding Program, Hope Outreach Center, Rebuilding Together of the Palm Beaches and Miami-Dade, Community Blood Centers of South Florida, Naranja Lakes Community Redevelopment Agency, Broward County Parks and Recreation Division, Great American Cleanup, Broward County Waste and Recycling Services and the City of Miramar.

Mark Brown, Miami South President over ten Dade and Monroe County LDS congregations, said, “It is a privilege for us to partner once again with government and community organizations.  There are wonderful and gifted leaders serving in our communities.  We can learn a lot from them and we can accomplish so much more working together than we ever could by ourselves.”

Last year in South Florida, 2,096 volunteers participated in the Day of Service where 10,370 hours of service were provided in 25 projects that included 25 community partners.  Eleven states participated in the debut of the Day of Service 2009 where 47,755 volunteers participated in a total of 554 projects and 223,204 hours were worked with 1,267 community partners.

Elder Walter F. Gonzalez, member of the Presidency of the Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, envisioned The Day of Service 2009 project following the outgrowth of the volunteer work done by congregations during hurricanes including Katrina to Gustav in the Southeastern United States.  These service projects are an extension of the volunteer work done by LDS members during recent natural disasters in Haiti, Chili and in the South Pacific.

The Day of Service logo “Helping Hands and Linking Arms”, represents the coming together to help those in need in our community.  Currently there are 36 multicultural LDS congregations in the South Florida area that have over 18,000 members from Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, Turks and Caicos, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Nicaragua and many other countries which symbolize the “Linking Arms” and “Helping Hands” logo of working together as one.  In the state of Florida there are 131,621 members in 238 congregations.

For additional information or to schedule an interview, please contact Jennifer Samuels, Miami-Ft. Lauderdale Coordinating Council Director of Public Affairs, at (305) 829-8130 or (954) 558-8655, or email at                                            


A total of 10 service projects will be performed as part of the 2nd Annual Day of Service 2010
All projects will be held on Saturday, April 24th, except one which is noted.


South Miami-Dade County Parks and Neighborhood Project:  Cleaning, Painting, Repairing, Planting, Graffiti Removal and More
Naranja Lakes Community Redevelopment Agency
Address:  27555 SW 140 Avenue, Naranja
Time:  Beginning at 8:00 a.m.
Description:  Volunteers will be planting trees, landscaping the entryway, boarding up/painting a guardhouse, painting street markers, cleaning up graffiti, repairing and painting fences, picking up litter/cleaning up along SW 280 St., planting a fruit and vegetable garden at (Harp Park) Princeton, and painting 15 houses with Rebuilding Together of Miami-Dade.    
Contact Person:  Ed Tracy, 305-431-7956,
Partners:  Keep America Beautiful, Inc.,  Naranja Lakes Community Redevelopment Agency, Miami-Dade Recreation Department, Princeton Naranja Community Development Corp., Rebuilding Together of Miami-Dade, South Dade Skills Center and William A Chapman Elementary.

Neighborhood Enhancement Project in Miami

Address:  Curtis Park, 1901 NW 24th Avenue, Miami
Time:  8:30 a.m. – 12 Noon
Description:  Volunteers will be weeding, sweeping, raking, picking up trash, cleaning graffiti, beautifying and enhancing the Allapattah areas with the Neighborhood Enhancement Team.
Contact Person:  Matrina Barry, 305-773-6804,
Partner:  Neighborhood Enhancement Team (Administrator Celco Ahumada)

Planting Flowers and Plants at Comstock Elementary School
Address:  2420 NW 18th Avenue, Miami, 33142
Time:  Beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Description:  Planting flowers and plants with school staff and other volunteers.
Contact Person:  Matrina Barry, 305-773-6804,
Partner:  Comstock Elementary School, Principal Deborah Wilso


Tree Tops Park Beautification Project and Blood Drive
Address:  3900 SW 100th Avenue, Davie 
Time:  8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Description:  Rebuilding picnic tables, preparing/painting all barbecues in picnic areas, refinishing/painting needed signage, refurbishing Safety Town, repainting fence along Nob Hill Road, and a blood drive will take place on site.
Contact Person:  Mark Brown, 954-649-8210,
Partners: Broward County Parks and Recreation Division and Community Blood Centers of South Florida, Inc.

Donating 40 Hand-Tied Quilts and Food to the Hope Outreach Center
Address:  4700 SW 64th Avenue, Suite A, Davie
Description: Nine LDS congregations are involved in donating 40 hand-tied quilts and food to the Hope Outreach Center.

Contact Person:  Marquita Greenberg, 954-557-0552,
Partner:  Hope Outreach Center

(MAY 1st) Shirley Branca Park Beautification Project in the City of Miramar
Hosted by the City of Miramar and partnering with city faith-based organizations
Address:  6900 Miramar Parkway, Miramar
Time: 8:00 a.

m. – 12 Noon
Description:  Volunteers will be weeding and mulching plant beds, planting new annuals, painting park fixtures and walls, and picking up litter and debris. 
Contact Person:  Vice Mayor Troy Samuels, 954-593-4939, or
or Jennifer Samuels, 954-558-8655,
Partners:  City of Miramar, Home Depot, and other faith-based organizations in the city.

Painting and Repairing Shepherds Way Hope Central Building and Assembling 1,000 Homeless “Love Bags”
Address:  1100 N Andrews Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale
Time:  8:30 a.m. – 1:00p.m.
Description(Must be 16 or older) Volunteers will be assembling and donating 1,000 homeless “love bags” of food, and painting, cleaning and replacing ceiling tiles on the first floor of The Shepherd’s Way Hope Central Building.  Each “love bag” will include one bottle of water, one pair of socks, one granola bar pack, one cracker pack, one fruit cup with a spoon, and one protein (tuna, chicken or ham) salad kit. 
Contact Person:  Marquita Greenberg, 954-557-0552,
or Richard Meijome, 954-659-2502,

Partner:  Shepherds Way (Hope Central)


Great American Cleanup of Broward County
Address:  1 NW 33rd Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale
Time:  8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Description:  The Great American Cleanup, the nation’s largest community improvement program, takes place annually from March 1 through May 31, involving an estimated 3 million volunteers and attendees.  
Contact Person:  Jon Andersen, 954-834-3334,
Partners:  Great American Cleanup, Keep America Beautiful, Inc., and Broward County Waste and Recycling Services

Repairs and Sprucing up the Cooperative Feeding Program Facilities
Address:  1 NW 33rd Terrace, Ft. Lauderdale
Time:  8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Description:  Making repairs and fixing up the Cooperative Feeding Program facilities maintained by Broward Partnership for the Homeless, which serves meals to 200+ homeless per day, as well as provides employment assistance, helps with social security and other government programs and services.
Contact Person:  Jon Andersen, 954-834-3334,
Partners:  Broward Partnership for the Homeless, Inc. and Cooperative Feeding Program shelter and

Rebuilding Together- Making Repairs and Painting 6 Single Family Homes
Address:  Identified individual homes of qualified low-income residents throughout Palm Beach County
Time:  8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Description:  Rebuilding Together of the Palm Beaches and volunteers will make repairs to the exterior and interior of qualifying single-family homes.  Repairs such as roofing, electrical and plumbing will be made in order to make homes of the elderly, disabled and low income families with children a safe and habitable environment.
Contact:  Johnson Davila, 561-779-0900,
Partners:  Rebuilding Together of the Palm Beaches and the City of West Palm Beach
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