Arlington Charities is blessed to have a group of high school and college aged missionaries from the Jesus Christ Church of the Latter-Day Saints, who come to volunteer every Friday. This large group of young adults come from all over the world on to spread the word of Jesus as well as volunteer at local charities around their area. When they arrive in their assigned location they are paired with a “Companion,” whom they live together and go on assignments with.
Companions, Sister Menlove from Salt Lake City, Utah and Sister Anderson from Fairview, Utah have been volunteering at Arlington Charities for about six weeks. Both companions are recent high school graduates who are taking eighteen months off for their missions before heading off to college. Sister Anderson plans to study marketing and Sister Menlove plans to study nursing at the University of Utah. Along with volunteering at Arlington Charities, the Sisters stay very busy going door to door seven days a week and volunteering at different events and organizations such as Fall Fest, Safe Haven, Azle Community Caring Center, and New to You. They tout justserve.org as an invaluable resource for finding local community service projects in the area. For fun, Sister Menlove enjoys playing tennis, piano, and skiing. Sister Anderson simply likes being outdoors and enjoys snowboarding and wakeboarding.
Both Sister Anderson and Sister Menlove love everything about Arlington Charities. However, if they had to pick a favorite part, the companions really enjoy our monthly Senior Distribution Days which allow elderly individuals in select living facilities to shop in our pantry in a specialized environment tailored to their needs and also provides transportation for them via handitran shuttles. At the previous Senior Distribution Day, the Sisters decided to ride the handitran back to the senior living facilities to help them unload their groceries. The experience left them with a great appreciation for our clientele. Each senior had very different backgrounds and “a lot of them were from other countries or different parts of the world” asserted Sister Anderson. However, a unifying factor was that all of the seniors loved the Sisters help.
Serving at Arlington Charities has really opened Sister Anderson and Sister Menlove’s eyes to the needs of the community and has started to influence how they act outside of volunteering. The Sister’s recall seeing a worker at Fall Fest who had been working the event all day and looked tired. They decided to ask if he was hungry and ended up giving him a portion of their lunch to which he was incredibly grateful. You never know what someone is going through and how your actions, no matter how simple, could affect them.
Sister Menlove and Sister Anderson would 100% recommend volunteering at Arlington Charities. To all new volunteers they say to try to “put yourself in the client’s shoes” and “don’t be afraid to ask their story, they are always happy to share.”