Across faith traditions, we may differ in our understanding of God and the rituals we observe to honor and communicate with God. But our scriptures are remarkably consistent in our responsibility to each other, exhorting us, in many different words and languages to be our brother’s keeper:
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. -Christianity. Galatians 6.2
Rendering help to another is the function of all human beings. -Jainism. Tattvarthasutra 5.21
All men are responsible for one another. -Judaism. Talmud, Sanhedrin 27b
The best of men are those who are useful to others. -Islam. Hadith of Bukhari
Without selfless service are no objectives fulfilled; In service lies the purest action. -Sikhism. Adi Granth, Maru, M.1, p. 992
God is present in every act of service. -Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 3.10-26
In the Book of Mormon (Mosiah 2.17), it says “I tell you these things that you may learn wisdom; that you may learn that when you are in the service of your fellow beings you are only in the service of your God.” To help each of us fulfill the sacred task of service, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has created a digital clearing house for volunteer opportunities called JustServe.
“We’re all part of the same human family,” says April Cook, who conducts outreach to organizations in her area to populate justserve.org with volunteer opportunities. “We need to work together to improve our communities and the world.”
JustServe, which can be accessed through its website or phone app, gives organizations a way to reach out to volunteers and provides a central place for community members to look for volunteer opportunities. There is no charge to organizations or volunteers to use the site. And volunteers can easily search by zip code to find nearby opportunities.
Each “stake,” or geographical group of congregations within the church, works to populate the site with opportunities. Cook has already reached out to over 50 organizations in her area since the site’s recent introduction in Michigan.
The site is open to faith, nonprofit, community, and governmental organizations that need volunteers. One of Cook’s jobs is to vet organizations and volunteer activities to make sure that they fulfill the site’s guidelines:
- The best service opportunities are collaborative – working side-by-side with others in the community.
- Humanitarian service opportunities should assist the poor and those in need of a helping hand.
- Community service opportunities should enhance the quality of life in the community.
- JustServe projects should not directly involve volunteers in fundraising, have a political focus, or be for-profit oriented.
You can visit the site or download the app to find service opportunities near you or add your organization’s volunteer openings. For more information, contact April Cook at firstname.lastname@example.org.