News Story

Mormons and Baptists Clean Up Houston Neighborhood

Over 200 Mormon teens and youth leaders worked with their Baptist neighbors recently to clean up a downtown neighborhood.

After an early morning gathering at the Sunny Side Missionary Baptist Church to get acquainted and receive assignments, volunteers rolled up their sleeves to spend the day beautifying Sunnyside. The area is an older neighborhood south of downtown Houston that has many vacant lots and homes in need of repair.

“You are doing the will of God,” said the Rev. Elbert R. Curvey as he expressed his gratitude to the volunteers.

The volunteers worked for five hours scraping and painting home exteriors, planting, removing trash and mowing vacant lots. They also repainted the woodwork on the Sunny Side Missionary Baptist Church and refreshed the stripes on the church’s parking lot. City garbage trucks came by periodically to haul away trash. In total, the young people donated approximately 1,000 hours of community service.

Houston city councilmember Wanda Adams said: “I feel elated that people not from the community are coming to the community to beautify and strengthen it. They are bridging lives and bringing families together. It is not about religion, race or economic breakdown, but about pulling together.”

Robin Blut with Keep Houston Beautiful said that the project was just the kind of volunteer commitment her organization loves to receive.

The project was organized by Councilmember Wanda Adams, the city of Houston Police Department Neighborhood Protection Corps, Keep Houston Beautiful, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and private donors. The Neighborhood Protection Corps helped identify the lots that were in most need of work and obtained permission from the owners. Keep Houston Beautiful donated tools and equipment, including mowers, edgers and painting supplies.

Curvey and representatives from Adams’ office and Keep Houston Beautiful mingled with the neighbors as the work progressed. Curvey asked a woman, “Are they doing what you want?” The woman clapped her hands, nodded yes with a huge grin, and did a little dance on her porch.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.