Women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the greater Chattanooga area will participate in a day of service on Saturday, March 7 that will include projects for the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, Chattanooga Room in the Inn, Chattanooga Zoo, McKamey Animal Center, The Salvation Army, Erlanger and BillionGraves.
The Chattanooga Community Kitchen works to meet the basic needs of vulnerable populations in local communities while offering a path to self-sufficiency. Volunteers will help with miscellaneous tasks and serving lunch. The Chattanooga Room in the Inn helps women and children overcome homelessness, and volunteers will help paint bedrooms and bathrooms to get a house ready for a new move-in. The Chattanooga Zoo needs volunteers to stuff Easter eggs for their Hug a Bunny event. The McKamey Animal Center saves animals and helps people. The Center is in need of cleaning, landscaping, socializing animals and/or making treats and toys. The Salvation Army is a year round operation that supports those in need in His name without discrimination. Volunteers are needed to put away Angel Tree materials from the 2019 Christmas season and to prep other Christmas items for 2020. Tasks may include painting red kettle stands, labeling 5,000 angel tree bags and organizing holiday donations.
Erlanger Hospital is in need of fleece blankets, little angel gowns, PICC and Trach line covers, which volunteers will make. The mission of BillionGraves is to preserve records found in cemeteries throughout the world. Volunteers will take pictures of headstones in designated cemeteries that are close by.
Women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “belong to and serve as leaders” in Relief Society, a philanthropic and educational women’s organization founded in 1841, with over seven million members in over 188 countries and territories. The Relief Society, like all other organizations in The Church, exists “to help Church members grow in their testimonies of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the restored gospel.” The prophet Joseph Smith organized the Relief Society and taught that it was organized for “the relief of the poor, the destitute, the widow and the orphan, and for the exercise of all benevolent purposes.” He said, “The Church was never perfectly organized until the women were thus organized” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith). The Relief Society’s motto is “Charity never faileth” (1 Corinthians 13:8).
Celeste Ward serves as the president of the Chattanooga Stake Relief Society. She is assisted by two counselors – Hilda Flynn and Heidi Fulks. “We are blessed to be a part of the work of Relief Society,” Mrs. Ward said. “As President Joseph F. Smith taught, the Relief Society was ‘divinely made, divinely authorized, divinely instituted, divinely ordained of God.’ This continues to be the case today. We are to look after each other, as Jesus Christ would do. This is why we encourage all adult women in Relief Society to serve where they live, every day, every year – beyond annual days of service.” Mrs. Ward said that women of all faiths are warmly welcomed to participate in Relief Society.
She also explained that Relief Society presidencies are found in every congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the greater Chattanooga area and throughout the world. A stake is composed of a number of wards and branches (at least five). A ward or branch is a single congregation. There are 12 congregations in Chattanooga. Relief Society presidencies, counselors and members are not paid for their service. They are called to serve as volunteers.
Chattanooga’s 2020 Women’s Day of Service has chosen as its theme – “pray, serve, rescue” – or as the late President Thomas S. Monson said – “Kneel down to pray, step up to serve, reach out to rescue.” For further information or to sign up to participate, visit at https://lds.regfox.com/dayofservice
. The day of service on Saturday, March 7 will begin at 9 a.m. with a Continental breakfast at the Stake Center, 3067 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road. At 10 a.m. participants will begin their service projects.