Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
TALLAHASSEE – Ben Smith, president of the Tallahassee Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says this year’s Light the World with Love campaign is all about members of his faith working side by side with local community organizations and churches to render service to those in need.
“Light the World with Love is an organized effort to bring people together to serve people in our community – neighbors and friends. This is a wonderful time of year when people have an increased focus on helping others. Light the World simply helps us do that,” he said.
The Tallahassee LDS Stake is comprised of seven congregations (called “wards” or “branches” depending on size) in Tallahassee as well as Church units in Thomasville, Cairo, Perry, Madison, Crawfordville, and Quincy.
Globally, the Church’s Light the World with Love campaign includes Giving Machines in 10 cities where people can donate to local and global charities in a vending machine-like process. The Church also provided an online calendar of service ideas to prompt people to serve others.
Smith said members of the Tallahassee Stake have partnered with the following organizations to provide volunteers, goods, and food items:
- Members of the Church in Cairo and Thomasville are participating in a food drive for the Lower Muscogee Creek Tribe and the Thomasville Toys for Tots toy drive.
- Members of the Church in Crawfordville partnered with Crawfordville United Methodist Church for a holiday food drive.
- Members of the Spanish-speaking Liahona Branch in Tallahassee will provide cupcakes and hot chocolate for the homeless at Grace Mission Church on Christmas Eve.
- Members of the Madison Branch will prepare and distribute food to the needy in partnership with the Madison Lions Club.
- The Quincy Branch is providing food preparation for the Project Annie food pantry in Frenchtown.
- The Tallahassee First Ward is providing food and other items at the Tallahassee Senior Center.
- The Tallahassee Second Ward is participating in a gift drive for refugees with the International Rescue Committee and providing food preparation for a Christmas dinner at the Project Annie food pantry in Frenchtown.
- Members of the Tallahassee Third Ward are participating in a gift drive with the International Rescue Committee and supporting the Thomasville Toys for Tots toy drive.
- The Tallahassee Fourth Ward provided food preparation and setup for a holiday meal at the Salvation Army.
- Members of the Tallahassee Fifth Ward (Young Single Adult) will provide food preparation for a Christmas dinner with the Project Annie food pantry in Frenchtown.
- Members of the Tallahassee Sixth Ward will provide food preparation for a Christmas dinner with the Project Annie food pantry in Frenchtown.
- Full-time missionaries serving in Tallahassee packed food items sent from the Church’s Bishop’s Storehouse in Utah at the Second Harvest of the Big Bend and helped distribute the food at the Urban League’s Unity in the Community event Saturday in Tallahassee.
In addition, members of the Church throughout the region are participating in a holiday food drive for Second Harvest of the Big Bend and the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe.
“This campaign is about members of the Church organizing together to literally go into the community and help already established organizations do what they do in such a wonderful and beautiful way,” said Smith. “We desire to come together, shoulder to shoulder, in serving and helping our neighbors together with organized groups who are already doing that, on a daily basis. We wish to help magnify and lift their efforts.”
Download a three-minute interview with Stake President Ben Smith