The young women of the Reno Nevada North Stake gained a better understanding of the needs of abused mothers and their children during a recent stake Young Women service project.
Approximately 85 girls gathered at the stake center to make toys for the children of abused women, and to hear Marge Littlejohns, director of Reno's Committee to Aid Abused Women (CAAW), speak about the problems and needs of battered women.The girls painted wooden dinosaur puzzles and made other toys, such as cloth activity boards, puppets and bean bags, for the project, entitled "A Care Affair."
Items, such as food, dishes and clothing, needed by abused mothers who are relocating to safer environments were also donated by the young women.
During the afternoon, many children whose mothers were receiving help from the CAAW arrived for a party, which included games, songs and refreshments.
The young women then presented many of the toys they made to the youngsters. Several of the children's mothers also attended the party.
The toys that remained were donated to a settlement house in Reno, which provides temporary shelter for abused mothers and their children.
Amy Torres, a 15-year-old Mia Maid in the Reno 3rd Ward, said helping the women and their children was "the greatest feeling in the world. The look of surprise on the children's faces and the way the mothers were happy when we gave the children toys that we had made ourselves gave me a happy glow inside.
"I think the best part of being a part of this project was being able to help. I hope that everyone will get a chance to help people and, when they do get the chance, do it willingly and lovingly."