Friday, August 8, 2008

What Have We Been Doing Lately!

Serving as Part-time Service Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (and, of course, enjoying our extended families...check our family website.)

I began serving as a Church Service Missionary in the Las Vegas Humanitarian Service Center in November 2007 shortly after being released as bishop of the Monte Cristo Ward(although I wasn't officially "called" as a missionary until February 18, 2008). Sherrie began serving in May after the play ("The Ark") was over (although she wasn't offically "called" until June 23, 2008). The calls are for one year. We received a copy of Sherrie's call letter but the fact I had never received a copy of my call letter prompted the email exchange shown below.

We serve two days a week, Tuesday and Thursday and any evening when we have a group scheduled. The Las Vegas Humanitarian Service Room ("HSR") is currently open three days a week, Tuesday through Thursday.

Our HSR has been given an interesting assignment; to oversee the assembly of 16,800 "cleaning buckets" which will be kept in the Las Vegas Bishop's Storehouse until needed for disaster distribution. As buckets are used, we would then "backfill" on an ongoing basis to maintain the original amount.

Each bucket, a five gallon white plastic bucket, contains:
laundry detergent
powdered cleanser
liquid cleaner
20 trash bags
scrubber sponges (2)
large sponge
bar of soap
empty spray bottle
2 small cloths (cleaning type rags)
5 breathing masks
two pair of rubber gloves
one long handled brush
two scrubber brushes

All the items fit into the plastic bucket which then has a lid pounded on it and the bucket is placed on a pallet; 12 buckets per layer with 7 layers, which are then shrink wrapped and moved to a storage location within the Bishop's Storehouse. (Yes that makes a tall stack!)

Our first "assembly session" was last Wednesday evening. We had about 225 volunteers who showed up between about 5:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. We assembled 2268 buckets. Given our relatively limited assembly space, 225 is too many. The ideal number would be between 75 and 100. Three evening assembly sessions are scheduled for next week.

In the HSR, we assemble hygiene kits, newborn kits, and school kits. We also make quilts and lots of other items. Our responsibility is to coordinate the work of the volunteers who come to the HSR. The HSR serves the entire valley, so we have people coming from all over town. We are open between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. We are always busy. In addition to preparing items to be sent to Salt Lake City for disaster preparedness inventory supply, we also work with various local agencies. For instance, yesterday we delivered 500 hygiene kits to the Salvation Army and 56 newborn kits (and other items like quilts, etc.) to University Medical Center.

Items that we produce are sent all over the world in response to disasters. For instance, last month, supplies were sent to:

St. Lucia
New Mexico

The supplies are distributed to disaster victims and are not distributed only to members of the LDS church.

-----Original Message-----
From: Keith Thomas []
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:23 AM
To: Parry, Morgan
Subject: Church Service Mission Call

Hi Morgan,

I have attached a copy of the "call letter" relating to Sherrie's call as a church service missionary. Do you know if there is a similar letter relating to my call as a church service missionary? If so, I would like to get a copy of it if possible. I am curious about the dates ("Date Service Begins" and "Release Date").

I see that Brendan will be speaking in Sacrament Meeting on September 14th. Its hard to believe he has been gone for two years!

Thanks so much,

Keith Thomas

-----Original Message-----
From: Morgan W Parry
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:47 AM
To: 'Keith Thomas'
Subject: RE: Church Service Mission Call

I believe I was given a copy of such a letter to file and I will look in the file cabinet and make a copy.


-----Original Message-----
From: Keith Thomas []
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:58 AM
To: 'Morgan W Parry'
Subject: RE: Church Service Mission Call


-----Original Message-----
From: Morgan W Parry
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 12:03 PM
To: 'Keith Thomas'
Subject: RE: Church Service Mission Call

Find attached a copy of your letter. If it is a poor copy or you can't open it, I have the copy I made from the original and will hold if you need it.
Let me know.


-----Original Message-----
From: Keith Thomas []
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 12:31 PM
To: 'Morgan W Parry'
Subject: RE: Church Service Mission Call

Thanks Morgan,

It came through just fine. I am guessing that my release date could be extended to at least coincide with Sherrie's (June 23, 2009) or even longer, if they wish. Both would be fine with us. We are enjoying our work there and hope we are making a difference.

Warm regards,

-----Original Message-----From: Morgan W Parry
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 12:33 PMTo: 'Keith Thomas'Subject: RE: Church Service Mission Call

Although certainly not my call, I would bet you could extend as long as you want. They would probably even let you show up in a wheel chair.


1 comment:

Rachel said...

That's a great pictures. Sounds like you guys are doing a lot of good at the HSR. Hopefully you can influence them to go "green" in future projects. (Ok, I know, I all comes from corporate!)