Light the World has become a powerful Christmas tradition, inspiring Latter-day Saints around the world to serve as Jesus Christ would. Recently, our team at LDS Daily learned more about this year’s upcoming Light the World initiative where countless stories of giving were shared. Here are just three. As you prepare for the holiday season, learn more about how you can strengthen your home and community through acts of service. Click here to learn more.
Brittany and her family of four struggle to make ends meet. Although both she and her husband work full-time, a typical holiday meal for them and their two boys is usually grilled cheese or spaghetti.
“I don’t think of myself as poor, but sometimes I think about what it would be like to just go to the store and buy something for a recipe,” Brittany said.
Last year, the Utah Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry provided Brittany and her family with a complete Thanksgiving dinner.
“The box had a whole turkey in it,” Brittany said. “I was so excited because it was enough meat to last us for months. There is something magical about sitting around a turkey and a big pile of mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.”
Jill Hyde was referred to the Family Support & Treatment Center when her 5-year-old son was experiencing debilitating anxiety.
“Despite my best efforts, I could not seem to help my son,” she said. “My little guy would sob and shake, and I would fail at attempts to explain away his fears.”
With the help of therapists at the Family Support & Treatment Center, Jill learned how to respond to her son’s anxieties.
“They taught me how to listen with my heart instead of my ears,” she said. “Now, I no longer hear about earthquakes. I hear about a little boy who is scared of a big world he cannot predict. My son still worries, but his nightly panic attacks have ceased.”
Paola Magaly Payoguaje and her family live in Putumayo, an area of Colombia heavily affected by decades of armed conflict. Despite the tenuous safety in her village, Paola and her family stay because they worry about the hunger and thirst they might experience somewhere else.
But clean water isn’t easy to come by in Putumayo. Many families rely on water collected from a nearby river.
“You have to do that very early in the morning because sometimes people go bathe there, so it’s best to get there early,” Paola said. Using donations from previous Giving Machines, WaterAid worked with community members to rebuild a water supply system that serves more than 400 people.
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Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.