Cleaning up to welcome the world
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JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
On June 5, just six days before the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament opened, 25 members of the Polokwane Branch, Tzaneen South Africa District, participated in a pre-games clean-up project at a park-and-ride lot near the Peter Mokaba Stadium in Johannesburg.
In order to prepare for the fans and teams from 32 countries from around the world, Church members joined others in the community to clean up their country for the monthlong tournament. Games began on June 11.
"Not only was it fun to help clean up a small part of South Africa for the World Cup with a good group of friends, it was very satisfying to represent the Church in such a positive way," said Sister Virginia Dolinar, a missionary serving in the Africa Southeast Area office. "They appreciated our help, and we all felt good."
Many of the members said they were thrilled to put on yellow Helping Hands vests to be part of the extensive effort made to prepare to host such an exciting period of competition.
The city's objectives were to clean up the city for the World Cup, change minds and bad habits of locals and visitors toward littering and to establish partnerships with residents to ensure sustained cleanliness levels. The clean-up effort was held on World Environment Day, June 5.
For Church members, this day of service was just the beginning. Helping Hands vests will again be worn on August 21, when the All African Helping Hands Day initiative will be performed. More than 25,000 people are expected to participate, giving service to demonstrate the theme "Love given – Love received."
From Free Town, Sierra Leone, to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania; Nairobi, Kenya, to Cape Town, South Africa; Windhoek, Namibia, to Antananarivo, Madagascar, projects will be completed on that day.
The Savior serves, so we serve. President Paul E. Koelliker, Africa South East Area President for the Church has said: "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is international in nature. It belongs to the people representing all phases of life. We are all here with the intent of helping."