'25 Ways' to be a light
Every day this Christmas season, Allison Nadauld and her four young children have sat down to focus on a different character trait of Jesus Christ. With each new theme, they plan another day of serving others.
So far, they’ve baked and delivered Christmas goodies to their neighborhood fire station, picked up dinner for one of the children’s teachers when they noticed she was working late at school one night, and brought Christmas cheer to a friend with terminal cancer.
A week ago, her daughters and 25 other elementary schoolchildren performed Christmas music for a veterans’ group in Eagle Point and after their performance served treats.
“It has been very sweet, and the kids have been very excited,” Nadauld says.
The Nadauld family, along with nearly 10,000 other members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Southern Oregon, has committed to 25 days of service during the church’s “Light the World” campaign.
The campaign was inspired by the church’s president, Thomas S. Monson, who advised fellow Mormons to “be an example and a light.”
The monthlong call to action features “25 Ways over 25 Days.” Twenty-five principles of Christ’s ministry and recommendations on how to emulate his example are highlighted in a series of short videos each day, a scripture passage and various social-media sites.
Church members say that doing random of acts of kindness is part of their resolve to make the world a brighter place … a reminder that "the Christmas season is a season of light.”
“Members are trying to put into practice the teachings of Jesus Christ,” says David Wright, who belongs to the Central Point LDS Stake and is a member of the stake’s public affairs group.
On a day that the theme revolved around healing the sick, Lori Frodsham registered as an organ donor — “something I hadn’t thought of doing before.”
Because her workload as a public defender for Jackson County keeps her from doing very much one-on-one ministry, she says she mostly prays “that others will remember the true spirit of Christmas.”
Other members are serving meals to the homeless every Saturday from the kitchen at St. Vincent de Paul in Medford, and others will deliver a pile of shoes to students at Jackson Elementary Dec. 20. Earlier this month, the Jacksonville Ward held a food drive to benefit the Salvation Army.
Wright’s company, All-Ways Trucking, matched employees’ donations to give five families “a better Christmas.”
“The generosity has been very gratifying,” Wright says.
Wright adds that most of the service, however, is being done on an individual basis, as each member or family sees a need and responds.
One family anonymously delivered small gifts and cards to four people they knew were battling cancer.
“Small acts of kindness like these are being replicated thousands of times each day throughout the Rogue Valley and the whole world this month,” Wright says.
For instance, his wife, Cynthia, has a friend with acute diabetes and “blood sugar levels that are nuts.” So, each day, Cynthia prepares two plates of food — one for the other woman and one for herself — and the two women eat together.
“She figures that her presence will force her friend to eat properly.”
A few weeks ago, Wright and a group of teen boys helped an elderly woman move to a new home. He adds that the young men “are looking for other opportunities to do good things.”
Frank Grant, an ecclesial leader with the Central Point Stake, says that as a retired UPS worker, he is grateful for the time he has to visit the sick and elderly and take homebound folks shopping.
“It’s time well spent,” he says.
“I feel fortunate to live where we do,” he adds. “It’s a wonderful place to live, but there is great need. Through this faith-based service we can help build a community we know and love.”
Wright confesses that he and others are uncomfortable sharing their stories and would prefer to serve without fanfare.
“But maybe by telling our story, we can be that light on a hill,” he says.
For more information about the local campaign, check out #LightTheRogueValley, or contact David Wright at 541-608-6512 or 541-944-2770.
— Reach Grants Pass freelance writer Tammy Asnicar at firstname.lastname@example.org.