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Arc of St. Charles to improve grounds on Day of Service

LULING — Armed with shovels and helping hands, members of the Luling congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are set to improve the grounds of the Arc of St. Charles today.

Church volunteers will plant crepe myrtles, weed, prepare a garden and beautify the area near the special needs school.

Luling LDS branch members take a break from the 2012 LDS Day of Service to pose with Assistant District Attorney Kim McAlwee, Major Sam Zinna and Lt. Pat Baudoin. Pictured in the back are, from left, Doug Zeringe, Trent Pearsall, McAlwee, Zinna, Will Kinler, Michael Tjulander, Tyler Maher and Shawn Fife. Pictured in the front are, from left, John Pearsall, Lois Harris, Shirley Kinler, Michael Pearsall, Phyllis Hester and Baudoin. (Photos submitted)

Luling LDS branch members take a break from the 2012 LDS Day of Service to pose with Assistant District Attorney Kim McAlwee, Major Sam Zinna and Lt. Pat Baudoin. Pictured in the back are, from left, Doug Zeringe, Trent Pearsall, McAlwee, Zinna, Will Kinler, Michael Tjulander, Tyler Maher and Shawn Fife.
Pictured in the front are, from left, John Pearsall, Lois Harris, Shirley Kinler, Michael Pearsall, Phyllis Hester and Baudoin. (Photos submitted)

“We are hoping to bring some more beauty to the ARC of St. Charles, so when children see the beautiful grounds they will feel refreshed and visitors will be greeted with a very cheerful area,” Peggy Margan, LDS Day of Service project coordinator, said, adding 30-40 congregation members are expected to participate in today’s event.

Today marks the sixth annual Day of Service for the church, and plans include plowing and preparing a garden area, so “the special needs students will be able to plant and enjoy a garden after we get the soil all ready for them,” Margan explained.

“We have selected very visible areas to beautify, so when people come here they will want to smile when they see the beautiful flowers,” Arlene Freloux, volunteer coordinator at ARC of St. Charles, said.

“Many people with disabilities come here for our programs designed to their varying abilities. We think seeing the improved grounds will really build morale.”

Margan, who serves as the Relief Society President for the women’s organization of the Luling Congregation, said volunteers are “looking forward to serving in the community and showing our gratitude for the ARC of St. Charles and how hard they strive to serve. We want to give back to someone who gives so much to others.”

The Arc of St. Charles, located at 13771 Old Spanish Trail in Boutte, has provided services for those in the parish with intellectual and physical disabilities since 1971.

In the Greater New Orleans area, Latter-day Saint congregations participate annually in a Day of Service by partnering with different organizations to strengthen local communities with meaningful service projects.

While the Luling Latter-day Saints will assist the Arc of St. Charles, Mormons and Latter-day Saints across Louisiana will be participating in various service projects, which include cleaning a cemetery, making over a school library and making improvements at an animal shelter. The LaPlace congregation will join in St. John the Baptist Parish Clean Sweep efforts May 9.

In the past, Luling area Mormons partnered with the St. Charles Victims Assistant Unit to makeover the Madere Children’s Advocacy Center and with the First Baptist Church in Destrehan and the St. Charles Department of Community Service to refurbish and refurnish a single mother of six’s mobile home.

New Orleans Stake President Gregory K. Stock, who presides over the 10 LDS congregations with approximately 4,000 members in the area, said the “Day of Service is a coordinated way of helping make our communities a better place to live.

“When we give our time, our resources and our hearts, then we are learning to become more like our Savior who gave everything for us.”