Some of my fondest memories as a youth in the Van Nuys Third Ward (in southern California) are of doing service projects. One year the theme for mutual was Mosiah 2:17, which is still my favorite scripture: “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” That scripture inspired us.
We called ourselves the “Sunshine Volunteers” and someone designed a logo for t-shirts and you got a t-shirt every time you participated in a service project. I received a few shirts but only saved one that I keep in my “sentimental clothes” bin. A few service projects I remember are visiting a home for developmentally disabled children, collecting and delivering Christmas gifts to a needy family, a sweater dance where we brought sweaters we had collected to donate to a rest home (and whoever wore the most sweaters at the dance won a prize) and painting Sister Hart’s trailer. I remember Sister Hart standing at the front door of her trailer, smiling at all of us as we painted the siding of her humble home. That is one of my favorite memories of my youth.
I wonder if the yellow Sunshine Volunteer t-shirts of the Van Nuys Third Ward were the humble beginnings of the now widely recognizable yellow vests you see church members wearing when they perform service world wide?