Maryland residents and state employees have been focusing on service initiatives for the past month. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan launched an initiative titled “Just Serve,” which was focused on volunteerism.
Partnering with JustServe.org, Hogan encouraged people to participate in service from Sept. 11 through Oct. 10. — starting with the National Day of Service and Remembrance — and post about it on social media with the hashtag #JustServe.
JustServe is a website and app where organizations post their volunteer needs — and volunteers search for places to serve in their communities.
The executive director of the governor’s Office of Community Initiatives, Steven J. McAdams, said the governor has been proud to promote JustServe in Maryland and partner with the Church on service and volunteerism since 2015.
“Sustained engagement in our communities promotes a legacy of service and lasting good will that empowers communities and inspires future generations to serve,” McAdams said.
During the monthlong initiative, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints donated food to several food banks. A delivery from Salt Lake City arrived Oct. 6 to the Maryland Food Bank in Baltimore. The donation included hundreds of items of food and household necessities, said Rick Condon, Maryland Food Bank senior vice president of operations.
Was pleased to help represent @MarylandGOCI today to welcome another BIG delivery from our Just Serve partners @Ch_JesusChrist at @MDFoodBank. All of the boxes stacked on pallets behind our team in the photo below arrived from Salt Lake City right on schedule👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/zJRckNIAyz— Maureen Regan (@MarylandGCO) October 6, 2022
“We are grateful to The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints for their dedication to hungry neighbors here in Maryland,” Condon said. “Donations from community partners are absolutely vital right now as we continue to face heightened demand for food assistance during this time of inflation and rising costs, and we want to thank the Church for their continued support over so many years.”
For the second year in a row, the Church also made a donation to the Anne Arundel County Food Bank during Hunger Action Month (September). This year’s Sept. 15 donation consisted of 40,000 pounds of food.
The food bank’s Twitter post on that day said the donation “comes at a time when the need remains high and there are 38,000 individual visits to our member agency food pantries each month.”
Thank you to our partners from @Ch_JesusChrist & @MarylandGOCI for joining us as the truckload of 40,000lbs of food was delivered! This donation comes at a time when the need remains high and there are 38,000 individual visits to our member agency food pantries EACH month! https://t.co/3lWQbVuGjN— Anne Arundel County Food Bank (@aafoodbank) September 16, 2022
Besides the food donations, Marylanders were encouraged to choose a day to participate in a volunteer activity in their communities during the month. Most state employees were eligible to use four hours of administrative leave to engage in a service activity during the month.
In 2019, President Henry B. Eyring, second counselor in the First Presidency, Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Hugo Montoya, General Authority Seventy, visited with Hogan at Maryland’s historic State House.
The three Church leaders presented Hogan with his personal family history that included photos and other genealogical documents and spoke with him about how Maryland and other states and cities can utilize JustServe.
On that day, Hogan said: “The Church has been a great partner with us. Not only on food drives, but with so many other things in the community.”
And in April, Hogan took a tour of the newly renovated Washington D.C. Temple with Church leaders.
At a news conference with media representatives on April 18, Hogan said he was grateful to participate in the “wonderful celebration of faith, community and fellowship.” He pointed out that some 40,000 members of the Church live in Maryland.
“By working together with the Church, we have harnessed the compassion and generosity of the people of Maryland,” he said.