25 February 2016
More than 300 members of several Hamilton churches will contribute a day's work to the city this weekend.
Representatives of Hamilton branches of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (LDS) approached Mayor Julie Hardaker in mid-2015, looking to spend a day working in the city as part of their Mormon Helping Hands project. The project is a worldwide LDS Church initiative and has been underway for more than 25 years, with the 2016 Hamilton project also involving representatives from the Waikato Interfaith Council.
The 2016 version of Mormon Helping Hands – held this Saturday, 27 February - will be the first in the city to involve members of other faiths and the wider city community.
The 300 participants will be split into 12 groups across the city, eight of them working on sites managed by the Council. They will be involved in weeding, rubbish collection and general cleaning at parks and community facilities such as the Te Rapa Sportsdrome.
Sally Sheedy, the Council's Parks and Open Spaces Manager, says community contributions to park management are valuable.
"We have a vast network of parks across the city and support to clean up some of these areas is greatly appreciated," she says.
"Volunteers who can help us out for a day do make a difference."
Vicki Lee Wihongi, LDS Church Public Affairs Director for the Central North Island says the collaboration between the three organisations is one of the features of the event.
"We're really excited to have other faith groups and Hamilton City Council partnering with us in this initiative," Mrs Wihongi says.
"It's a way of not only giving back to the city, but also forming closer relationships with other groups."
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