On Jan. 16, youth in the Atlanta, Ga., area were off from school and adults were off work in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. day. Many Latter-day Saints chose to spend the day serving at the bishops' storehouse in Tucker.
There were more volunteers than work to be done, so more work had to be organized in addition to filling food orders and loading trucks to deliver food to the metro area. Work was organized for the main warehouse, the cannery, cleaning, filling walk-in food orders and restocking shelves. Elder Gordon Hunter and Sister Brooke Hunter currently manage the storehouse and were delighted to be so busy from all of the volunteers who came to work.
Newer members, Bob and Miriam Asper of the Dunwoody Ward, Atlanta Georgia Stake, worked along with Patti Stoddard, also a member of the Dunwoody Ward, filling out food and commodity orders for those who are going through hard times. This was the second time the Aspers were able to serve in the storehouse since their recent baptism into the Church.
"Bob just retired and found out he could volunteer in the storehouse so some of that free time he has on his hands will be spent here in the coming weeks," Sister Asper said. "It's hard work sometimes, but it just feels so good to do things for other people. We've had fun getting to meet so many people who care and enjoy the work."
Troy Bennett also of the Dunwoody Ward, helped load cases of canned goods and commodities from the main warehouse for restocking the storehouse shelves as they emptied.
"It was my first time working in the storehouse. I was impressed with the level of organization, the scope of the work, how clean it was and the enthusiasm of the people who were working there — enthusiasm to work," Brother Bennett said.
Brother Bennett related that fulfillment comes through this type of service and is one of the reasons he was drawn back to the Church after years of inactivity. He now serves as a counselor in the his ward's elders quorum presidency.
Young men from the Roswell Georgia Stake cleaned every bin and tray in the warehouse and then loaded the bins, which were filled with food orders, onto trucks for delivery.
Will and Judith Perkins of the Brockett Ward, Atlanta Georgia Stake, canned powdered milk to help fill the shelves in the cannery. A Young Women group from the Roswell stake filled #10 cans with other staples, such as beans and whole oats.
Other volunteers included entire families who showed up to work and brought friends and neighbors who wanted to serve.
Some members of a single adult group from wards in the Atlanta Georgia Stake arrived to help with anything they could.
One senior sister, who came to have an order filled for food, said it was a testimony to be there when so many people were serving in such a beautiful way and left many of the workers with a smile and hug.
The work being done in the storehouse and the cannery answered the call from Martin Luther King Jr. who said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?' "
"It is truly wonderful to see so many people who use their free time to serve others with no thought for themselves," Elder Hunter said.
He then shared the promise of charity found in Moroni 7:46-47, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail— But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him."