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Women work together in multi-faith project

LOS ANGELES — A Jewish woman who learned from a Muslim friend about an activity being held at an LDS stake center was among the women from various faiths and backgrounds who gathered to work on service projects.

Charitable organizations in Los Angeles were the beneficiaries of the interfaith service project at the Los Angeles California Stake Center on Saturday, April 14.

More than 200 women worked together knitting infant hats, making baby blankets and assembling hygiene kits that will be used to fill local needs. By the end of the day, women from the Church as well other Christian churches, Jewish, Muslim and other religions had created almost 400 baby caps; 200 fleece baby blankets, receiving blankets and quilts; canned 600 pounds of dry packed food; and assembled 300 hygiene kits.

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry, whose district includes a low-income area in downtown Los Angeles, attended the event called, "What a Difference a Day Makes." She was impressed by the diversity of religious and ethnic backgrounds working together. "I'm grateful for the work you do," she said as she addressed the volunteers. "It's incredible what can be done in such a short period of time."

Dozens of young women from the Los Angeles stake and their friends took part in the effort. There was a great sense of friendship and sisterhood as they worked together. Many expressed a desire to serve the organization "My Stuff Bags" which benefits children rescued from houses where methamphetamine had been used or produced.

The children taken from such toxic environments have to be immediately showered and de-contaminated and their clothing discarded before they are placed in crisis or foster care. The "My Stuff Bags" include blankets, necessities and toys so the children have something to take with them.

Linda Schorin, who attends a Jewish temple in West Los Angeles, said she heard about the opportunity to help others from a Muslim friend. She brought her family and a neighbor to volunteer. With her children in mind she said, "It's easy for kids to not think of people in harder circumstances. How do you teach kids to be concerned? I think you have to give them a hands-on experience."

Co-organizer Sharyl Mendez said the event was especially uplifting because everyone seemed to be having a good time and enjoying the accomplishment of something that could be done that day.

Volunteers also gathered bedding, clothing, books and donations to benefit children and families who are homeless. Donations were made to the organizations "People Assisting The Homeless," "Stitches from the Heart" and "Children of the Night" as well as single mothers, veterans and the elderly.

Gayla Scoll, chairwoman for the event, expressed delight in participating with those in the community and having fun while doing so much good for so many in need right at home in Los Angeles.