More Than 300 Mormon Volunteers will Beautify Key Portions of Historic Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Which Dates Back to 1772

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This Saturday, April 25, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in Sunbury, PA, more than 300 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will work together in a large-scale service project to beautify 14 separate sites throughout the historic Susquehanna River community. Church organizers are using social media network technology to communicate and coordinate the 3-hour effort of its volunteers.

I am impressed with the Mormon Church's organizational skills and commitment

With a paint brush or leaf rake in hand, more than 300 volunteers plan to beautify key portions of the City of Sunbury this Saturday, April 25. This large-scale service project is organized by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly known as the Mormon Church). Its local leaders approached city officers with the offer months earlier.

"We are delighted by the Church's offer and it's right in line with our city's goals," said Mayor Jesse C. Woodring. "We hope this day of service will encourage other groups to take pride in our community and organize similar projects. We have much to offer along the Susquehanna River."

Volunteers will be wearing yellow "Mormon Helping Hands" vests and working in 14 separate locations throughout the city. They will gather at their previously assigned locations at 8:30 a.m. to stain the gazebo, rake leaves and spread mulch in Cameron Park; paint parking meter posts on Market Street; stain gazebos and spread mulch in Merle Phillips Park; rake leaves and spread mulch at Fort Discovery, 4th Street Rec Complex Baseball Fields and Keithan's Bluebird Gardens; rake leaves, spread mulch and power wash playground equipment at Rice and Keller Street playgrounds; and clean up around Wolfe Baseball Field and Oppenheimer Pleasure Grounds.

"Following the celebration of Easter and our risen Lord Jesus, we are trying to be doers of His word and not just hearers only," said Michael V. Hoffman, Stake President of the Church's Williamsport Pennsylvania Stake (region). "We believe in following our Lord Jesus Christ and His example of giving selfless service to our neighbors."

"Their offer to help us was phenomenal. It's truly unprecedented," Mayor Woodring said. "It is the first of it's kind for our historic city."

In preparation, Church organizers have been using the latest in Internet technology to communicate with their volunteers through frequent emails, text messaging and social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Williamsport-PA/Mormon-Helping-Hands-Williamsport-Pennsylvania-Stake/89094576958?ref=ts). Church leaders and city representatives have held several meetings to discuss tasks and identify what resources will be needed. Checklists have been written for each assigned location and volunteers have been organized into multiple work groups.

During the day of service, Mormon volunteers will be using their mobile phones to report progress and coordinate their efforts. All 14 locations will be done simultaneously during the 3-hour period. According to Hoffman, he estimates more than 900 hours of community service will be provided to the city, which is equivalent to nearly six months of work by a full-time employee.

"A project this size with so many different locations and a large number of volunteers requires planning and logistics," Hoffman said. "The Church is well-known for its ability to organize and mobilize its volunteers during natural disasters and humanitarian relief efforts."

"I am impressed with the Mormon Church's organizational skills and commitment," said Councilman James R. Eister, head of parks and recreation. "I believe we will learn from them. I'm excited by their enthusiasm to help us."

The Mormon volunteers helping the City of Sunbury range from physicians, attorneys, educators, businessmen, tradesmen, homemakers, students, and people from every level of society. Their ages range from ten to 70 years old.

"We have a lot of people who are anxious and want to help," said Hoffman. "We believe we have a responsibility to be active citizens in our communities where we live, all Latter-day Saints seek to work cooperatively with other faiths, churches and organizations. We believe working together in partnerships is the best way to help others."

For additional information, contact Max Meng or visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Williamsport-PA/Mormon-Helping-Hands-Williamsport-Pennsylvania-Stake/89094576958?ref=ts. For history about the City of Sunbury, PA, visit http://www.cityofsunbury.com/nor-sunbury/cwp/browse.asp?a=862&bc=0&c=43780&nor_sunburyNav=.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a worldwide Church with more than 13 million members, a majority of whom live outside the United States. And within the United States, it has the 4th largest membership of any other church.

The Williamsport Pennsylvania Stake of the Church has about 2,000 members in congregations in Sunbury, Lewisburg, Berwick, Williamsport, Lock Haven, Mansfield and Towanda.

Style guide note: When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online style guide at http://www.newsroom.lds.org.

Contact:
Max Meng
Public Affairs Director
Williamsport Pennsylvania Stake
70 Fairway Drive, Lewisburg, PA 17837
(570) 452-2774

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