JustServe volunteers learn from Hawaii project how to serve their community

Community helps clean up high school campus in Mililani

Nita Stone has learned that the Lord is in the timing as she strives to fulfill her calling as Mililani Hawaii Stake JustServe specialist. 

“I have a lot of faith that Heavenly Father helps me a lot,” she said. This past year, a project to help Mililani High School  “just dropped into my lap,” Stone said, and from there, JustServe’s efforts have begun to grow in her town.

JustServe is a website and app that connects community organizations with volunteers. In February, Stone saw on a neighborhood website that Mililani High School student Zyler Tengan had started a petition to clean up the school campus — which had been neglected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

JustServe volunteers use pressure washers on walkways around the campus of Mililani High School in Mililani, Hawaii, on Feb. 19, 2022. | Taylor Stone

Stone contacted Zyler and the school’s principal to talk about how JustServe could help. She then started spreading the word to wards in her stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, other churches in town, and community groups such as Mililani Lions Club, Rotary Club of Mililani and the Mililani Town Association.

One hundred and five people showed up on the day of the cleanup to rake the grounds, pressure wash sidewalks and paint tables.

“The principal was so amazed we got that many people. They ran out of paint and had to go get more,” Stone said.

Many people brought their pressure washers — the area has a lot of clay red dirt that gets into everything, even the classrooms, Stone said. Children served beside their parents. 

The Bjorn family gets under a table as the children learn to paint beside their parents during a JustServe project at Mililani High School in Mililani, Hawaii, on Feb. 19, 2022. | Taylor Stone

“It was so nice to see families bring their children. Those children will grow up to serve others as well,” Stone said.

Stone’s granddaughter Taylor Stone — who is a junior at the high school — helped take pictures of everyone working. She said it also warmed her heart to see the children helping with cleaning.

“I saw parents teaching their kids the correct way to paint the walls, heard little kids singing and telling jokes while working, and even if they weren’t working at all they found some ways of entertaining the other adults,” Taylor said.

Taylor met new people and interacted with the volunteers, encouraging her classmates to serve as well. 

Mililani High School student Zyler Tengan and Hawaii State Representative Val Okimoto clean up the school’s campus as part of a JustServe project in Mililani, Hawaii, on Feb. 19, 2022. | Taylor Stone

“I felt really happy and thankful for all the people who came and helped with the tasks,” she said. “Being a student of Mililani High I can say that the service that these people have done for us has improved our campus a lot and has made it look even better than before.”

Nita Stone said the school was so appreciative, and Zyler was overwhelmed. “He was very happy by how much the project grew,” Stone said. They are planning another service activity with JustServe next year for the school’s 50th anniversary. 

Meanwhile, JustServe efforts grew from that service project in February. Stone said the Mililani stake tries to participate in a JustServe project every month now.

“We have learned a lot and done a lot of projects. We cleaned up another school since then — an elementary school in May in another town north of us. We’ve learned and been able to do a lot of projects because of this one,” Stone said.

It’s like it says in Alma 37:6, she said: “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.” 

The Christman family paints tables and benches at the campus of Mililani High School in Mililani, Hawaii, on Feb. 19, 2022. | Taylor Stone
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