The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its volunteerism initiative JustServe were honored with a “Spirit of Philanthropy” award at a 2017 Philanthropy Day luncheon held by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1986, November 15th was proclaimed to be National Philanthropy Day by President Ronald Reagan, “to recognize the enormous achievements of all who have given of themselves for others, and to rededicate ourselves to the great tasks ahead.”
Several of this year’s award recipients had raised remarkable amounts of money for non-profit organizations. JustServe is not used for monetary contributions, but the service hours provided by volunteers allow agencies to put most of the dollars they receive into helping those in need, rather than into a large paid staff. Their budgets also extend further thanks to the donations of needed items through JustServe.
Elder C. Dale Willis, Jr., North America South West Area Seventy who graciously received the award on behalf of the LDS Church, says that the award is even more special because the Church was nominated by Catholic Charities Community Services.
Michelle Curry, Community Outreach Chair for JustServe in the Metro-Phoenix area, explains why the nomination was given: “Through our in-kind donations and volunteer force, members have helped refugees in many ways, including school clothing and backpacks, apartment setups and mentoring. We will be continuing our strong partnership with Catholic Charities to not only aid refugees, but to help others in our community.”
That is the goal of JustServe—to partner with various churches, non-profit and civic agencies that are assisting people in some way. No single group can care for every need alone. When organizations openly support each other’s efforts, more effective service is given and more families and individuals are reached.
Elder Willis shares, “At the conclusion of the luncheon, I mentioned to the CEO of Catholic Charities that the Church has been honored to serve our Heavenly Father’s children, and all we desire is to be ‘part of the choir’ with other denominations in making sure there are ‘no poor among us.’”
CEO Paul Mulligan says, “It has been a blessing for Catholic Charities to become aware of and involved with JustServe.”
In 2 Corinthians 9:7, the apostle Paul encourages, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth the cheerful giver.”
Elder Willis adds, “It is my testimony that one of the ways we live the Two Great Commandments—to love God and our neighbor—is by becoming involved with JustServe in our communities.”
Countless tasks lie ahead, but through the love and dedication of many individuals, and with the aid of recently-acquired technology inspired by the Lord, philanthropic deeds will grow in number and impact as they bless the lives of His children.
To explore how you may get involved, visit JustServe.org.