Additional Resource

Latter-day Saint Youth Engage in Unique Service

When school is not in session, boys and girls in their teens in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints often participate in an activity called youth conference. The event, which lasts between two and three days, gives the youth an opportunity to perform meaningful service in their community and have some recreational fun as well.


This summer, in Cleveland, Ohio, about 100 youth and 20 local Church leaders took on a unique assignment by constructing 25 prosthetic hands for “Hands of Gratitude.” It is an exceptional team-building program in which participants assemble 3D-printed prosthetic hands needed by tens of thousands of people around the world. The completed devices are donated at no cost to recipients; the experience, for both the builders and the recipients, is invaluable.

With a continued sense of purpose in serving, youth and leaders were involved in a recent Special Olympics event. They first took the Special Olympics Volunteer Oath: “I promise to give of the time in my life so that Special Olympics athletes can have the time of their lives. I promise to support Special Olympics, not just as an expression of charity, but as a form of respect for my fellow human beings. I promise to spread the word of volunteerism because, in giving, I receive so much more in return.”

Latter-day Saint youth packed 4,600 lunches for the Special Olympics participants. After lunch they served dinner and were greeters. Greeters cheered wildly for the athletes and their families as they come to dinner, including lots of high fives and fist bumps. One of the athletes asked with a big smile, “Are they cheering for me?” The youth also worked the Special Olympics track and field games, practically running the daylong event. They served, cheered and realized that all who participated were winners; coming in first or sixth place wasn’t important.

One of the adult leaders told the young people, “Never forget how powerful small acts of service can be in other people’s lives. When you serve others with love as the motivation, you are creating miracles in others’ lives as well as your own.”

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