Monday, July 15, 2024

Community honors 9/11 victims and heroes by uniting in service

Volunteers from Flower Mound, Highland Village, and surrounding areas came together on Saturday to meet a variety of community needs in honor of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.

As part of the National Day of Service, JustServe.org partnered with Lovepacs Lewisville, Keep Flower Mound Beautiful, and Flower Mound Parks and Recreation. This brought together hundreds of volunteers who spent their Saturday providing meals to children in need, beautifying a beloved historic site, and cleaning up community parks.

(Photo by Clairissa Cooper)

At Briarhill Middle School, the cafeteria was abuzz with energy around decorating boxes and filling them with food to alleviate some students’ food insecurity over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in the Lewisville Independent School District.

Dr. Lori Rapp, LISD Superintendent, underscored the significance of such collective efforts.

“This service is a great example of what we should remember about September 11, which is that we’re stronger when we come together as one community,” said Dr. Rapp. “It’s not in the face of tragedy that we need to remember to come together. It’s every day we need to remember to come together and unite together.”

Lovepacs Lewisville chapter lead Alex Ward said that the schools anticipated that over 900 students would need food assistance over the coming extended school breaks. Last year alone, Lovepacs served 8,100 kids from Pre-K to 12th grade in the 2022-23 school year.

The JustServe collaborative effort involved volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LISD students and families, and Briarhill Middle School organizations from PTA, NJHS, and the student council. As a result, 170 food boxes were assembled to meet the holiday needs of these students.

“This is the true definition of what community is,” said Highland Village Mayor Dan Jaworski. “It just makes me so proud that Highland Village comes together to do something like this to help our community. My eyes are clear, and my heart is full in seeing what is happening here today.”

Bill Bell, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stains the split rail fence at the Gibson-Grant log house in Flower Mound. (Photo by Clairissa Cooper)

Also organized by JustServe and supported by members of the Church of Jesus Christ, volunteers beautified the historic Gibson-Grant Log House on behalf of Keep Flower Mound Beautiful. The group stained 1,800 feet of split rail fence in 90 minutes, including pulling weeds and landscaping flower beds. The restored log house, which dates back to the period between 1860 and 1861, stands as a testament to the early settlers of Denton County, offering Flower Mound residents a glimpse into their history.

“This group was able to do work that might not otherwise get done. It greatly enhances the beauty of the Gibson-Grant log house. But more importantly, it just gets everyone involved with the community,” said Frank Reigelman, Keep Flower Mound Beautiful board member.

Another beautification project at Flower Mound’s Heritage Park involved volunteers pulling weeds, spreading mulch, staining fences, and patrolling the park for trash and debris.

Ongoing needs and projects to support Lovepacs Lewisville, Keep Flower Mound Beautiful and many local organizations can be found at JustServe.org. JustServe is a free service sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ that links organizations in need of help with volunteers. To learn more about the 9/11 National Day of Service and additional ways to help, visit 911day.org.

Summited by Clairissa Cooper

CTG Staff
CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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