Students spent National Day of Service on Saturday collecting food and hygiene items to donate to Provo’s local food and care center.
Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, this day of remembrance is federally recognized as a National Day of Service. Giving back to the local community honors the fallen victims and heroes of 9/11.
“(Heroes) go unnoticed. When you think of 9/11 and that catastrophic event, we all have catastrophic events in our own lives that local heroes help us remedy,” said Emma Roberts, a student from Walla Walla, Washington, majoring in bioinformatics.
Roberts, and others in the Provo Married Student 2nd Stake gathered and delivered boxes of canned food, hygiene products and comfort items to donate to the Food and Care Coalition.
Other service activities like cleaning up local parks, donating in blood drives, tying fleece blankets and creating care packages also took place Saturday.
Provo Food and Care Coalition’s mission is to diminish poverty, alleviate hunger and provide a safe place for homeless men and women to regain self-esteem and human dignity.
Dalia Aguilar began volunteering for the Food and Care Coalition almost three years ago when she was living in a housing unit that required her to do volunteer hours. She was recovering from a back injury while living there and unable to work.
After Dalia’s back healed, she was offered a full time position as the kitchen assistant at the center.
“We want to make (the homeless) feel that there are people that care about them, that they matter and that they can get service with dignity and respect,” Aguilar said.
Many stakes hosted a variety of service activities after the area presidency directed local Church leaders to find an activity that would help benefit residents in the community. The area presidency also wanted to get the married students involved.
The students and leaders donated approximately 1,000 pounds of food and three cartfuls of hygiene and comfort items on Saturday. The donations will be used for meals and hygiene packs for the homeless.
“It’s so important to give service to others. It helps you become a better person, and also helps develop love for people around you,” said Caleb Roberts, a student from Provo majoring in mechanical engineering.
Dain Hodson, High Councilor for the Provo Married Student 2nd Stake said that serving others, in essence, is what the Savior would do. “When the Savior asks us to serve our fellow man, there is a reason for it, it’s a divine medicine for us to be able to try and feel what He felt,” Hodson said.
Provo Food and Care Coalition welcomes all volunteers. There are many ways to volunteer on site or from home, Aguilar said.
Readers can visit the Food and Care Coalition website for more volunteer information.