by Lisa Fisher, Killeen Stake Media Specialist
After the brutal storm last winter that left many in Texas without power for days, a need for proper clothing in the cold months ahead became all too clear. In response, the Killeen Texas Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took action.
To kick off the “Light the World” initiative, the stake’s JustServe representative, Christy Young, with full support from ecclesiastical leaders, launched the area’s first “Coats for Cookies” collection drive. Community members in and around the greater Killeen area were invited to donate new or gently used coats to bring warmth to those in need.
On Dec. 4, members and missionaries of the various wards and branches of the Killeen Stake set up drive-through drop-offs at three church locations in Killeen, Copperas Cove and Gatesville, and had a location at the Lampasas Mission in Lampasas, Texas.
In exchange for coat donations, all participants received a package of cookies and a copy of the “Light the World” calendar. Community response exceeded expectations, with many participants expressing appreciation for the chance to be involved.
At the end of the two-hour drop-off time, 25 bags stuffed full of coats had been collected. There was a variety for all ages and sizes. On Monday, the bags of coats were distributed to four local shelters and food pantries, including the Lampasas Mission. All coats collected will be distributed locally to people in need.
Seth Porter, acting director of the Killeen Stake communication council, explained the purposes behind distributing calendars to all participants. He said, “This winter coat drive is part of a greater initiative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to “Light the World” during the days leading up to Christmas.”
Since 2016, The Church of Jesus Christ has encouraged people around the globe to light the world by doing large and small acts of service and kindness during December and the Christmas season. To aid participants with ideas, ChurchofJesusChrist.org, offers a printable calendar that lists various daily ways to render service or to do random acts of kindness.
Along with the yearly December daily prompts, JustServe.org. helps volunteers find opportunities to participate in service projects in their communities and across the country. Local opportunities might include helping at a city library, passing out food at a pantry or shelter, or baking cookies at a local Ronald McDonald house.
Nationwide opportunities could include making blankets for Project Linus, transcribing documents for the Library of Congress, or sending gratitude cards to our military and first responders. The website is easy to use and new projects are added regularly.
To highlight the efforts by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to help support and facilitate community unity and giving, Porter commented further. “It’s also a chance to help others learn about the website, JustServe.org. We want to serve our neighbors by donating warm clothing, and by doing so, help everyone feel the warming love of Christ,” he said.