In a unique and inspired act of ministering, stakes in Washington combined their efforts to gather and donate more than 250 musical instruments to restore hope and music to the victims of the Paradise, California, wildfires.
Chico California Stake President John Meyer reached out to stakes in northwest Washington and asked them if there was anything they could do to serve their fellow saints.
“The stake Young Women president mentioned musical instruments, and it just resonated with everyone,” stake public affairs director Michael Devers told LDS Living. “We asked her about it later and she said, ‘Well, I’m the one that voiced the idea, but it really was Heavenly Father’s idea.’”
This effort grew into a greater community project when two people — neither of them members of the Church — heard about the project and donated a U-Haul to help deliver the instruments to Paradise. Other donations from local groups and promotions by news agencies became part of the contagious effort to heal hearts.
Sandi Anderson, stake seminary supervisor of Paradise, was one of the victims who lost her home completely to the devastating fires. She and her husband, Doug, were blessed with a piano from the Washington stakes.
“It touches my heart so deeply that someone who had a beautiful piano that they enjoyed would sacrifice it to comfort someone she didn’t even know,” said Anderson. “It was so Christlike to recognize that it might bring someone else some comfort and be willing to sacrifice in that way.”