News Release

New Zealand ‘Mormon Helping Hands’ Season Begins

Dozens of congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout New Zealand are taking advantage of sunnier and warmer Saturdays this month to head to beaches, river banks, parks, community centres, schools, public gardens and reserves to clean-up, repair, weed, plant, install, and paint, among other tasks. 

All in an effort to serve the people in their communities and improve the local environment.

Mormon Helping Hands is a locally organized world-wide initiative that has been underway for more than 25 years.

For the last few years February has been designated by local Church leaders as “Helping Hands Month” in New Zealand. In addition, other community service efforts are organised during other parts of the year as needs are identified.

Last weekend, nearly 200 volunteers from central Auckland congregations beautified areas along the Kurt Brehmer Walkway near the Whau River, according to a Facebook post by Dana Fualalo.

Watch a Facebook video inviting people to come lend a hand.

“This is the second year now we have worked with the Whau River Catchment Trust in helping mulch, clear and clean the area along the river. It was an awesome day!”

Church members in south Auckland joined Counties Manukau Police and Otara Health in cleaning the Johnstone Road footbridge and Otara Creek recently.

“I was shocked to see the amount of trolleys and other rubbish that was pulled out of our creek yesterday,” said Karlene Wihongi.  After a full day, more time was needed to complete the clean-up.  “We are meeting again for one last surge.”

More and more Mormon Helping Hands projects are including people of all faiths. “Anyone who wants to improve their communities is invited to participate,” says the Church’s Auckland and Northland director of public affairs, Muriel Samuela.

“We love working shoulder to shoulder with our Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and all other neighbours to make a positive difference in our wonderful communities.”  

Church members and friends and neighbours of all ages participate.  It’s common to see whole families come together to participate in a day of service.

In Hamilton on Saturday 27 February the Church is co-sponsoring with the City of Hamilton 12 projects across the city. 

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, supported by the Waikato Interfaith Council, will be joined by people of other faiths and other Hamilton residents.

There are other Mormon Helping Hands projects scheduled or completed up and down New Zealand including in Christchurch, Wellington, Dunedin, Tauranga, Whangarei and Gisborne.

“The reason we do community service activities,” Mrs Samuela says, “is because our faith in God and Jesus Christ motivates us to reach out as good citizens and neighbours in a spirit of love and collaboration. We love our country, our neighbours and our communities, and working together to do good things is unifying and very fulfilling.” 

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