Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Helping Hands at Te Puea Marae

Today Larry and I helped out with another "Helping Hands" project - this time at Te Puea  Marae.

"In Māori society, the marae is a place where the culture can be celebrated, where the Māori language can be spoken, where intertribal obligations can be met, where customs can be explored and debated, where family occasions such as birthdays can be held, and where important ceremonies, such as welcoming visitors or farewelling the dead (tangihanga), can be performed. Like the related institutions of old Polynesia, the marae is a wāhi tapu, a 'sacred place' which carries great cultural meaning."
 (From Wikipedia)

While a Marae is usually a gathering place for the Maori community, this past May the Maori in Mangare Bridge (Te Puea) opened its doors to homeless individuals and families.  They have largely depended on volunteer efforts to staff the services there.  Our Church has organized teams of people to assist.  Today was Auckland Ward's turn to go make lunch and clean up after.

It felt good to put on our yellow "Mormon Helping Hands" vests and know that we were part of a world wide effort by LDS people to help those in need.

This is what MormonNewsroom had to say about the projects MHH volunteers take part in:

Mormon Helping Hands

The Mormon Helping Hands program brings together members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their neighbours to provide community service.
These volunteers in their trademark yellow shirts help people whose lives have been affected by natural disasters and other emergencies.
Mormon Helping Hands volunteers also partner with government and nonprofit organizations to support and improve the communities where they live. 
The Helping Hands program reflects the desire of Mormons to follow the example of Jesus Christ by serving others. The effort receives resources from Church humanitarian services,and the projects are coordinated by local Church leaders.
The Mormon Helping Hands program was established in 1998, and since then hundreds of thousands of volunteers have donated millions of hours of service to their communities. The program started in South America but has since spread to nearly every corner of the world.

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