Sunday, October 17, 2010

Owning the Paralympics

In my new calling as director of public affairs for the Hyde Park stake, I have been tasked with contemplating ways in which the Church could serve the Olympic effort here in 2012.

One of the ways that a few new friends and I have brainstormed the Church could best serve was to have members volunteer en masse for the Paralympics: the newly-added fourth-part of the Church's mission is to care for the poor and needy, and there is little corporate support or even interest for the Paralympics, the most inspiring aspect of the Games.

If the Church can provide 1,000 volunteers, we can be introduced as a major player and perhaps serve in other ways, too, such as opening prime church real estate to the Olympics to use for free, providing free language translation iPod apps developed by BYU, and getting hundreds of missionaries involved as volunteers.

We have limited time for members to volunteer - the online application system closes October 27.  However, a letter went out by the area authority 70 (see the New Testament for references to "seventies") over England and Ireland last week to all local leaders, and the national director for public affairs sent out materials from myself to help stake directors of public affairs the country over to facilitate the gathering of volunteers.

As our inspired stake president said, gathering the number of volunteers we need in the next week and a bit will take a miracle.  But then,  I believe in miracles...

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