Members from Murrieta’s three Mormon churches and Nazarene Church banded together on the morning of April 26 to perform up to six hours of community service work for the city. Some Murrieta residents also pitched in to help.
About 550 volunteers split up into three groups to spread mulch at the Los Alamos Sports Park, hold a food drive at the Murrieta Public Library and paint monument signs in the Cal Oaks and Las Brisas areas.
“We meet with the city each year to set up our day of service and coordinate a project to help the city,” said Dion Rasmussen, director of public affairs for the Murrieta Stake of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Rasmussen explained that Mormons do volunteer work the fourth Saturday of April.
“Nationwide the Mormon Church calls this our ‘Day of Service’ for the communities we all live in across the country,” he said. “It’s pretty cool. We get our members of all ages out there and have fun helping others.”
Rasmussen added that they plan to include other churches and community members each year and expand to do more service throughout the year.
“We created a Facebook page called ‘Murrieta Helping Hands’ and will continue to use this throughout the year for other service opportunities in the community,” he said. “It is meant to be for the whole city to participate together.”
Tricia Layne, who helped spread buckets of mulch at the park, said that the city provides the supplies. The mulch was made mostly from last year’s Christmas trees that the city recycled.
The food drive at the library collected enough goods to fill almost all of the food banks at Nazarene Church, Murrieta Methodist Church, Promise Lutheran Church, The Rock Church and St. Martha’s Catholic Church. Rasmussen said the churches were extremely appreciative.
The painting volunteers tried to paint 69 monument signs, but were only able to complete about half of them by early afternoon. The rest of the signs will be painted by full-time Mormon missionaries.
“There is a group of them serving in the Murrieta area and each week they spend time doing service,” Rasmussen said. “Currently, they work with the Murrieta city manager and will do various projects for the city every week. We will utilize this team of missionaries to complete the monument painting project over the course of their regular service days.”
The city’s Park and Recreation Manager Lea Kolek stated all of the volunteers did an excellent job.
“They did a tremendous amount of work and their work was very much appreciated,” she said.
This is the second year that the Mormons have organized to do community service for Murrieta. Last year over 650 volunteers painted at the Murrieta Equestrian Park.
“They’re a great bunch of people,” Kolek said.