News Story

Mormon Women in Vancouver Strengthen Their Community

The 170th anniversary of the Relief Society, an organization for women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, presented an opportunity for Mormon women in Vancouver to strengthen their communities in a significant way. 

Based on the premise that it takes10,000 hours to master a skill, the idea generated to spend 10,000 hours trying to become more like Jesus Christ. The women’s group determined to spend the ensuing year striving to become more like Christ by engaging 1,000 women to commit to 10,000 hours of community service. 

Thus began the 10,000 Hour Project. Their hope was not only to seek out and help those in need, but also to show the women of their community the strength and purpose of this women’s organization.

The 10,000 Hour Project Launch, celebrating the 170-year legacy of the Relief Society, was held on 17 March 2012. The launch began with the history of the organization and a video and explanation of the vision for the project. Each participating woman received a T-shirt to wear while giving community service.

Throughout the year the women have engaged themselves in a variety of worthy projects:

  • Sewing caps for the British Columbia Cancer Agency
  • Participating in the CIBC Run for the Cure, a run for breast cancer support
  • Volunteering at the United Gospel Mission, the Salvation Army, a refugee centre and a local women’s shelter
  • Sewing dresses for needy children
  • Helping school children improve their literacy
  • Donating clothing and toiletries to less-advantaged persons
  • Helping at the Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Services
  • Beautifying a local park and neighbourhood

A community centre representative told volunteer Maria Elena Stancliffe how grateful the centre was for the donation of clothes and toiletries to serve the homeless. Stancliffe said she felt it was a great experience to give service to the community as a group of women from the Church.

The special commemorative year concluded with an evening to celebrate the 171st anniversary of the Relief Society and to acknowledge the efforts of hundreds of LDS women who donated more than 10,000 hours of service.

Those who participated in the 10,000 Hour Project felt they had learned to love like the Saviour. Volunteer Melanie Kovaltsenko said, “It is only when you are serving those around you that you can truly begin to love them as your brothers and sisters. There was a real sense of togetherness. I noticed that whenever we participated in a service project, we were of one purpose. We were as the Saviour, looking beyond the surface, seeing the true heart, knowing that those we served and those we served with were our brothers and sisters. It was beautiful.”

The Relief Society is one of the oldest and largest women’s service organizations in the world. With a membership of 5.5 million women in 170 countries, the Relief Society is a tremendous vehicle for service around the globe.

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