Featured Stories

Washington D.C. YSA Stake Plans Charity Event to Help 1,500 Families

More than 300 volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Lazera Ministries and Good360 distributed donations to approximately 7,700 people

Volunteers in Alexandria, Virginia, load boxes of supplies into hygiene kits to be distributed to families in need on June 22, 2024. Photo by Rebecca Lane, courtesy of Church News.All rights reserved.

This story appears here courtesy of TheChurchNews.com. It is not for use by other media.

By Joe Wirthlin, Church News

The second annual Stock the Block drive-through distribution event on June 22 drew more than 1,500 families near Washington, D.C., to receive donations and other services from local nonprofits.

Stock the Block committee members, made up of local young adult congregations from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Lazera Ministries, organized this year’s community distribution event.

“We partner with local nonprofits to help provide both services and needed items to help families in our community,” said Tiffany Osborn, chair of the Stock the Block Committee.

Based on an average household size of five people, the Stock the Block committee estimates that 7,700 men, women and children will benefit from the donations distributed.

Volunteers hand out hygiene supplies on June 22, 2024, to recipients at the Stock the Block community distribution event in Alexandria, Virginia. Photo by Rebecca Lane, courtesy of Church News.All rights reserved.

“When people are in the midst of poverty and in the midst of being marginalized, their children are experiencing that,” said Yolonda Earl-Thompson, executive director for Lazera Ministries. “We just want to bring a little joy in a little moment so that the kid can be a kid.”

The donations were primarily provided by Good360, a product philanthropy nonprofit based in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, and by the Church. Donation items included personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, diapers, socks, school supplies and toys for children.

Romaine Seguin, CEO of Good360, said that the organization’s mission is to close the need gap between what goods and services people do and do not have.

The Stock the Block community distribution event “gives [community members] hope,” said Seguin. “This is a day of giving our communities sustainable support, and they can move on and better their lives.”

Donation recipients drove through a corridor of supplies on either side while volunteers helped load their cars. For those without access to a vehicle, a walk-up center was available to receive aid. A free shuttle also traveled through neighboring communities, picking up individuals, driving them through the lines and delivering them back to their homes with their donations.

Members of the Stock the Block Committee pose for a photo on June 22, 2024, near their donation site in Alexandria, Virginia. Photo provided by Stock the Block committee, courtesy of Church News.All rights reserved.

The Stock the Block committee partnered with the Fairfax County Police Department and other Fairfax County community services and other organizations to provide additional services and spread the word about the event to the local communities.

The more than 300 volunteers helping at the event were primarily from the Washington D.C. YSA South Stake with about 60 area missionaries from the Washington D.C. South Mission. They braved temperatures reaching into the high 90s to help direct traffic, distribute goods and provide translation services to those who needed it.

“While today’s event was largely run by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it wasn’t an incredibly religious experience,” Osborn said. “But for us, it was still a sacred experience because we were able to lift and serve in the way our Savior would serve. We not only saw miracles, we also felt His presence and His love on behalf of the people around us. We do this because we love Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ loves us, and we embrace our responsibility to reflect that love to all of God’s children.”

Copyright 2024 Deseret News Publishing Company.

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.